Eemaan Booster – Looking Attentively at the Biography of the Noble Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam)


As the days and years passed, many people began to enter into Islam. One day a person would be a staunch, avowed enemy and the next day he would be humbled into submission by the sheer force, simplicity, purity and power of the message that struck and captured his heart. Prior to accepting Islam, numerous people tried to murder the Prophet. There is the example of Thumamah bin Athal65. He was a chief of the Banu Hanifah tribe and a king amongst the kings of the region of al-Yamamah. He was obeyed and listened to by his people. The Prophet would send letters out to the chiefs and leaders to invite them to Islam. When Thumamah received one such letter, he was taken by his pride and honour. He even killed a number of Muslims due to his hatred and outrage. After some time Thumamah desired to perform ‘umrah66 and as he was passing by al-Madinah he was captured by a group of Muslims who did not know his identity. They brought him into the city, tied him to one of the pillars in the mosque and waited for the Prophet to determine his affair. When the Prophet came and saw the face of the captive, he said to the Companions, “Do you know whom you have captured?” They replied in the negative and he said, “This is Thumamah bin Athal al-Hanafi so be benevolent to him.” When the Prophet returned some time later he ordered the Companions to gather food for Thumamah. He also commanded a camel to be milked for Thumamah to drink from. All of this took place before the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) spoke even a word to him.

Then the Prophet came to Thumamah and said to him, “What [purpose] have you have come with O Thumamah?” Thumamah said, “O Muhammad I have come with goodness, if you take my blood, you will have killed a man who has already taken blood, if you set me free you will be doing favour to someone who will be grateful, if you seek wealth, then ask and you will be granted [any amount].” Thumamah was prepared to meet his fate with honour and dignity. The Prophet left him and returned to him the next day, asking the very same question. Thumamah gave the very same answer. During this time, Thumamah was being honoured and treated well. Whilst tied to the pillar in the mosque he was observing the Muslims and their worship. The next day the Prophet came to him again and asked the same question to which Thumamah replied with the same answer as before, “O Muhammad I have come with goodness. If you take my blood, you will have killed a man who has already taken blood, if you set me free you will be doing favour to someone who will be grateful. If you seek wealth, then ask and you will be granted [any amount].”
The Prophet ordered that he be released.

When Thumamah reached the outskirts of the city and had time to reflect on his experience, he stopped by a garden to think further. He then bathed with the water in the garden, returned to the mosque and announced, “I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship [in truth] except Allah alone and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.” Thumamah continued, addressing the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), “By Allah O Muhammad, there was no face on the Earth which I disliked more than yours but now your face has become the most beloved face to me. By Allah there was no path I disliked more than yours, but now it is the most beloved to me. By Allah there was no town I disliked more than your town, but now it is the most beloved to me.” Thumamah then said, “I killed some of your followers earlier, what should I pay for that crime?” The Prophet replied, “There is nothing upon you for that O Thumamah, for Islam wipes out everything that was before it.”

He then asked for permission to proceed to perform the ‘umrah and the Prophet taught him the correct way to perform it, upon pure monotheism. Thumamah entered the city of Makkah whilst making the Islamic call for the pilgrimage out aloud. He invoked only Allah, the creator of the Heavens and Earth, and shunned the mention of other deities. The polytheists were disturbed at hearing this call and drew out their swords to kill the audacious person who dared to proclaim such a call in their midst. When they recognized it was Thumamah, they stopped out of fear of the consequences from his people. The food supply to Makkah was largely from al-Yamamah and they feared that it would be cut off. Thumamah performed the ‘umrah and returned without harm. Thereafter, he resolved to harm the Quraysh just as they had harmed and waged war against the Prophet and the Muslims. He cut ties with them and also informed them that not a single grain of wheat will come to them from al-Yamamah. Feeling the effect, the polytheists of Quraysh complained to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) about Thumamah through a messenger. They said, “He claims ties of kinship should be respected, yet has cut off from the Quraysh. He has killed fathers with swords and is now killing children with starvation.”

The Quraysh said this with their full knowledge that years earlier, they had starved the Prophet and his followers in Makkah for three full years by imposing economic and social sanctions upon them through a boycott of Banu Hashim.67 This had harmed the Muslims a great deal and was a severe trial for them. But the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) wrote to Thumamah to lift the boycott and to resume the food supplies to the residents of Makkah.68 There are some great lessons in this story69 for both the hateful, spiteful, ignorant Islamophobe and the savage Kharijite terrorist. Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was not sent with the goal of killing people and dispossessing them of their land and wealth. Rather, he was sent with the goal of guiding them and taking them out of darkness into light. His astounding degree of patience towards the harm that came to him and his astounding degree of clemency and mercy towards his enemies despite having the ability to harm them in many instances is a sign and a lesson for people of reflection – both Muslims and non-Muslims.

65 The story can be founded the collections of Prophetic tradition such as al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and the various biographical accounts such as Sirah Ibn Hisham.
66 The lesser pilgrimage. The polytheists used to perform the rituals of Hajj prior to Islam but upon their particular way which included invoking and worshipping other deities alongside Allah.
67 The leading clans of Quraysh entered into an alliance to boycott the Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib economically and socially. Both trade and intermarriage were prohibited. The Banu Hashim were a commercial rival to those clans and they had been giving protection to Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) on purely tribal grounds. Hence, both non-Muslims and Muslims were boycotted during this three year period. The situation got so dire that the Muslims had to eat the leaves of trees and crying children could be heard in the valleys to which they had been forced to retreat. Eventually, the boycott collapsed and failed to break the resolve of the Muslims.
68 Compare this to the well-researched and documented actions of European leaders, kings and queens in the colonial era of deliberately implementing economic and trade policies to exacerbate the effects of famines as a means of culling colonized populations by the millions as a means of tightening their grip on lands and resources for self-enrichment.
69 There are hundreds of such lessons in the Prophetic biography.

Source: The Noble Revered Prophet of Islam Muhammad, Abu Iyaad Amjad Rafiq, Jointly published by Hikmah Publications and Salafi Publications, Version 5.00, 2015, pp. 35-38.

About islamtees

The Qur'an and Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salafus-Saalih (Righteous Predecessors).
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