picked up his bow, put it on his shoulder, and with steady steps and full strength left the place with everyone looking disappointed and Abu Jahl licking the blood flowing from his wounded head.
possessed a sharp sight and dear consciousness. He went home, and after he had relaxed from the day's exhaustion he sat down to think over what had happened. He had announced it in a moment of indignation and rage. He hated to see his nephew getting insulted and suffering injustice with no one to help him. Such racial zeal for the honor of Bani Haashim's talk had made him hit Abu Jahl on the head and shout declaring his Islam. But was that the ideal way for anyone to change the religion of his parents and ancestors and to embrace a new religion whose teachings he had not yet become familiar with and whose true reality he had not acquired sufficient knowledge of? It was true that Hamzah
had never had any doubts about Muhammad's
integrity, but could anybody embrace a new religion with all its responsibilities just in a moment of rage as Hamzah had done?
It was true that he had always kept in his heart a great respect for the new call his nephew was carrying and its banner, but what should the right time have been to embrace this religion if he was destined to embrace it? Should it be a moment of indignation and anger or a moment of deep reflection? Thus he was inspired by a clear consciousness to reconsider the whole situation in light of strict and meticulous thinking.
started thinking. He spent many restless days and sleepless nights. When one tries to attain the truth by the power of mind, uncertainty will become a means of knowledge, and this is what happened to Hamzah. Once he used his mind to search Islam and to weigh between the old religion and the new one, he started to have doubts raised by his innate inherited nostalgia for his father's religion and by the natural fear of anything new. All his memories of the Ka'bah, the idols, the statues and the high religious status these idols bestowed on the Quraish and Makkah were raised.
It appeared to him that denying all this history and the ancient religion was like a big chasm which had to be crossed. Hamzah
was amazed at how a man could depart from the religion of his father that early and that fast. He regretted what he had done but he went on with the journey of reasonable thinking. But at that moment, he realized that his mind was not enough and that he should resort sincerely to the unseen power. At the Ka'bah he prayed and supplicated to heaven, seeking help from every light that existed in the universe to be guided to the right path.
Let us hear him narrating his own story: I regretted having departed from the religion of my father and kin, and I was in a terrible state of uncertainty and could not sleep. I came to the Ka'bah and supplicated to Allah to open my heart to what was right and to eliminate all doubts from it. Allah answered my prayer and filled my heart with faith and certainty. In the morning I went to the Prophet
informing him about myself, and he prayed to Allah that He may keep my heart stable in this religion.
In this way Hamzah
converted to Islam, the religion of certainty.
* * *
Allah supported Islam with Hamzah's
conversion. He was strong in defending the Prophet of Allah
and the helpless amongst his Companions. When Abu Jahl saw him among the Muslims, he realized that war was inevitably coming. Therefore he began to support the Quraish to ruin the Prophet and his Companions. He wanted to prepare for a civil war to relieve his heart of anger and bitter feelings.
was unable, of course, to prevent all the harm alone, but his conversion was a shield that protected the Muslims, and was the first source of attraction to many tribes to embrace Islam. The second source was `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab's
conversion, after which people entered Allah's religion in crowds. Since his conversion, Hamzah
devoted all his life and power to Allah and His religion till the Prophet
honored him with the noble title, "The Lion of Allah and of His Messenger"
The first military raid launched by the Muslims against their enemies was under the command of Hamzah. The first banner that the Prophet
handed to any Muslim was to Hamzah
. In the battle of Badr, when the two conflicting parties met, the Lion of Allah and of His Messenger was there performing great wonders.
* * *
The defeated remnants of the Quraish army went back to Makkah stumbling in disappointment. Abu Sufyaan was broken hearted with a bowed head as he left on the battlefield the dead bodies of the Quraish martyrs such as Abu Jahl, Utbah Ibn Rabii'ah, Shaibah lbn Rabii'ah, Umaiyah Ibn khalaf, `Uqbah Thn Abi Mu'ait, Al-Aswad Ibn `Abdul Al-Asad Al-Makhzumi, Al- Wallid lbn `Utbah, Al-Nafr lbn Al-Haarith, Al-'Aas lbn Sa'iid, Ta'mah lbn `Addi and tens of other great Quraish.
But the Quraish would not accept the defeat easily. They started to prepare the army and to pull together all powers to avenge their honor and their dead. They insisted to continue the war. In the Battle of Uhud, all the Quraish went to war together with their allies from the Arabs, under the leadership of Abu Sufyaan once again.
The Quraishi leaders had targeted two persons in the new battle, namely, the Prophet
. If one had heard them talking and plotting before the war, one would realize that Hamzah
was their second main target after the Prophet
Before they went to war, they had already chosen the person in charge of assassinating Hamzah: an Abyssinian slave with extra ordinary skill in spear throwing. They planned for him to kill Hamzah, his only role being to hit him with a deadly spear. They warned him not to be busy with any other preoccupation other than Hamzah, regardless of the situation on the battlefield. They promised him the excellent reward of his freedom. The slave, whose name was Wahshiy, was owned by Jubair Ipn Mut`am. Jubair's uncle had been killed in the Battle of Badr, so Jubair said to Wahshiy, "Go out with the army, and if you kill Hamzah you will be free." Afterwards, the Quraish sent Wahshiy to Hind Bint `Utbah, Abu Sufyaan's wife, to give him more encouragement to kill Hamzah, because she had lost her father, uncle, brother, and son and it was said that Hamzah had been behind their deaths.
This was the reason why Hind was the most enthusiastic one of all the Quraish to escalate the war. All she wanted was Hamzah's
head, whatever the cost might be. She spent days before the battle pouring all her rage into Wahshiy's heart and making the plans for him. She promised him if he killed Hamzah she would give him her most precious trinkets. With her hateful fingers she held her precious pearl earrings and a number of golden necklaces around her neck and gazed at him saying, "All these are yours if you kill Hamzah." Wahshiy's mouth watered for the offer, and his soul yearned for the battle after which he would win his freedom and cease to be a slave, in addition to all the jewelry decorating the neck of the leading woman of the Quraish, the wife of its leader, and the daughter of its master. It was clear then that the whole war and the whole conspiracy were decisively seeking Hamzah
* * *
The Battle of Uhud started and the two armies met. Hamzah was in the middle of the battlefield in battle dress and on his bosom he put an ostrich feather that he used to wear while fighting. He was moving everywhere cutting off the head of each polytheist he reached among the army of the Quraish. It seemed that death was at his command. Whenever he ordered it for anyone it reached him in the heart.
The Muslims were about to gain victory and the defeated army of the Quraish started to withdraw in fright, but the Muslim archers left their places on the mountain to collect the spoils of war that the Quraish had left. If they had not left their places, giving the Quraish cavalry the chance to find a way, the battle would have ended as a gigantic grave for all the Quraish, including men, women, horses, and even cattle.
The Quraish attacked the Muslims by surprise from the back and started strilang them with thirsty swords. The Muslims tried to pull themselves together, picking up the weapons they had put down upon seeing the Quraish withdrawing, but the attack was too violent. When Hamzah
saw what had happened, he doubled his strength and his activity. Hamzah
was striking all around him while Wahshiy was observing him, waiting for the right moment. Let us hear Wahshiy himself describe the scene.
I was an Abyssinian man who used to throw the spear in an Abyssinian way that scarcely misses its target. When the armies met I searched for Hamzah
till I found him in the middle of the crowd like a huge camel. He was killing every one around him with his sword. Nothing could stop him. By Allah, I prepared for him. I wanted him. I hid behind a tree so that I might attack him or he might come close to me. At that moment Sabaa'u Ibn `Abd Al-'Uzzaa approached him before me. When Hamzah glanced at him he shouted, "Come to me, you son of the one who circumcises!" and he hit him directly in the head. Then I shook my spear till I was in full control over it and threw it. The spear penetrated him from the back and came out from between his legs. He rose to reach me but could not and soon died. I came to his body and took my spear and went back to sit in the camp. I didn't want anything else to do with him. I killed him only to be free.
Let Wahshiy continue his story: When I returned to Makkah, they set me free. I stayed there till the Prophet
entered Makkah on the Day of the Conquest. I fled to At-Taa'if. When the delegation of Al-Taa'if went to declare their conversion to Islam, I heard various people say that I should go to Syria or Yemen or any other place. While I was in such distress, a man said to me, "Woe to you! The Prophet
never kills anyone entering his religion." I went to Allah's Prophet
in Al- Madiinah, and the moment he first saw me I was already giving my true testimony. When he saw me he said, "Is it you, Wahshiy?" I said, "Yes, Messenger of Allah." He said, "Tell me, how did you kill Hamzah?" I told him, and when I finished he told me, "Woe to you! Get out of my sight and never show your face to me." From that time, I always avoided wherever the Prophet
went lest he should see me, till he died.
Afterwards, when the Muslims fought Musailamah the Liar in the Battle of Al-Yamaamah, I went with them. I took with me the same spear that I had killed Hamzah
with. When the armies met, I saw Musailamah standing with his sword in his hand. I prepared for him, shook my spear till I had full control over it, threw it, and it went into his body. If I killed with this spear the best of people, Hamzah, I wish that Allah may forgive me, as I killed with it the worst of people, Musailamah.
Thus the Lion of Allah and of His Messenger died as a great martyr. His death was as unusual as his life, because it was not enough for his enemies to kill him. They sacrificed all the men and money of the Quraish to a battle only seeking the Prophet
and his uncle Hamzah.
Hind Bint `Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyaan, ordered Wahshiy to bring her Hamzah's liver, and he responded to her savage desire. When he returned to her, he delivered the liver to her with his right hand, while taking the necklaces with the left as a reward for the accomplished task. Hind, whose father had been killed in the Battle of Badr and whose husband was the leader of the polytheist army, chewed Hamzah's liver hoping to relieve her heart, but the liver was too tough for her teeth so she spat it out and stood up shouting her poem:
For Badr we've paid you better
In a war more flaring than the other.
I was not patient to revenge the murder of
`Utbah, my son, and my brother.
My vow's fulfilled, my heart's relieved forever.
The battle ended and the polytheists mounted their camels and led their horses back to Makkah. The Prophet
and his Companions examined the battlefield to see the martyrs. There, in the heart of the valley, the Prophet
was examining the faces of his Companions who had offered their souls to their Lord and had given their lives as a precious sacrifice to Him.
suddenly stood up and gazed in an upset manner at what he saw. He ground his teeth and dosed his eyes. He never imagined that the Arabic moral code could be that savage so as to cut and disfigure a dead body in the dreadful way that had happened to his uncle, the Lion of Allah, Hamzah Ibn `Abd Al Muttalib.
opened his shining eyes and looked at the dead body of his uncle saying, "I will never have a worse loss in my life than yours. I have never been more outraged than I am now."
Then he turned to his Companions saying, "It is only for the sake of Safiyah [Hamzah's sister] that she should be grieved and that it should be taken as a practice after me. Otherwise, I would have ordered him to be left without burying so that he may be in the stomachs of beasts and in the craws of birds. If Allah destines me to win over the Quraish, I will cut thirty of them into pieces."
Therefore, the Companions shouted, "By Allah, if one day we conquer them, we will cut them in a way that no Arab has done before!" Allah honored Hamzah
by making his death a great lesson for the Muslims to learn justice and mercy, even in situations when penalties and retaliation were justified. No sooner had the Prophet
finished his threatening words, then a revelation came down to him while he was still standing in his place with the following verse: "Call mankind to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and sound advice, and reason with them in a well mannered way. Indeed your Lord is well aware of those who have gone astray from His way, and He is well aware of those who are guided. And if you retaliate, let your retaliation be to the extent that you were afflicted, but if you are patient, it will certainly be best for those who are patient; and be patient, yet your patience is only with the help of GOD, and do not sorrow for them, not distress yourself at what they devise. Indeed GOD is with those who are pious, and those who are doers of good" (16:125-127).
The revelation of these verses in this situation was the best honor for Hamzah
. As stated before, the Prophet
loved him dearly because he was not only an uncle, but also his brother by fosterage, his playmate in childhood, and the best friend in all his life.
did not find any better farewell for Hamzah
than praying for him among the numerous martyrs. Hamzah's
body was carried to the place of prayer on the battlefield, in the same place which had witnessed his bravery and embraced his blood. The Prophet
and his Companions (Radhi Allahu Anhum) prayed for him, then they brought another martyr and put him beside Hamzah, and prayed for him. Then they took the martyr away and left Hamzah and brought the next martyr and placed him beside Hamzah and prayed for him and so on. They brought all the martyrs, one after the other and prayed for them beside Hamzah
, who on that day was prayed for seventy times (the number of martyrs). To continue Insha Allah