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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Abu Jahl & His Son Ikrimah

"Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they
find mentioned in their own (scriptures) ,- in the law and the Gospel;-
for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he
allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from
what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens
and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in
him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down
with him,- it is they who will prosper."
(Al-Qur'an, 7:157 Al-Araf [The Heights]))
Running Away From Islam, Then...
Adil Salahi, Arab News


No one was more hostile to Islam in its early days than Abu Jahl. In
fact he was given this nickname, which means "father of ignorance",
because of his stubborn opposition that was based on tribal interests
and personal pride rather than any valid reason. Throughout the
period when the Prophet (peace be upon him) advocated his message in
Makkah, lasting 13 years, Abu Jahl was the most hardened opponent of
Islam. He was then the man that ensured that the Quraysh army went
out to meet the Muslims at the Battle of Badr. He was killed in that
battle.

His son, Ikrimah, was also a determined opponent of Islam. After his
father's death, Ikrimah was one of the new leadership in Makkah,
maintaining a stand of hard opposition. When the Prophet entered
Makkah, after the Quraysh violated the Al-Hudaybiyah peace agreement,
some of the stalwarts of Quraysh, including Ikrimah, fled. His wife,
Umm Hakeem bint Al-HaHisham rith ibn went to the Prophet and embraced
Islam. She then said to the Prophet: "Messenger of God! Ikrimah has
fled to Yemen, fearing that you will kill him. Grant him a pledge of
security." The Prophet granted her what she requested.

Umm Hakeem traveled in pursuit of her husband, taking with her a
slave who belonged to her husband, but the slave tried to seduce her.
Feeling her vulnerability, she resorted to delaying tactics,
promising him a positive response in good time. When they passed a
tribe, she sought their help and they managed to chain him and kept
him prisoner. She continued her travel until she reached an area by
the seaside before reaching Yemen. Her husband was there.

Prior to her arrival there, Ikrimah had boarded a boat aiming for
Yemen, but the boat was caught in a storm. The headman told the
passengers that they should pray sincerely. Ikrimah asked him how to
pray, and the man told him to say, "there is no deity other than
God." He said: "I fled so that I would not say this." The people in
the boat told him: "Your deities will avail you nothing." The boat
managed to get back to shore and Ikrimah was saved. His wife caught
up with him at this stage.

She said to him: "I have come to you, having met the best, kindest
and most compassionate man. Do not risk your life again. I have
obtained a pledge of security for you." And she told him what she
did. He decided to go back with her. As they were on their way back
she told him what the slave tried to do. He killed the slave. On the
way, his wife refused him as he approached her for sex, saying that
now that she was a Muslim and he was not, she could not respond to
him. He said: "If your faith will stop you responding to me when I am
your husband, then it must be very serious."

As Ikrimah approached Makkah, the Prophet said to his
companions: "Ikrimah will be arriving soon, coming as a believer in
Islam, migrating for his faith. Do not curse his father. Cursing a
dead man will upset the living without affecting the dead person."

When Ikrimah approached and the Prophet saw him, he stood up to meet
him, delighted that he came. Then the Prophet sat down while Ikrimah
remained standing, and his wife with him covering her face. He
said: "Muhammad! This woman claims that you have given me a pledge of
security." The Prophet said: "She is right. You are safe." He
asked: "Muhammad! What do you call for?" The Prophet said: "I call on
you to declare that there is no deity other than God, and that I am
God's Messenger, and to attend regularly to prayer, and pay your
zakah to the poor, and... (The Prophet mentioned the main Islamic
duties)." Ikrimah said:

"You only advocate the truth and what is good and beneficial. Even
before you started your call, you were the most honest and honorable
among us. I declare that there is no deity other than God and that
Muhammad is God's servant and Messenger." The Prophet was delighted.

Ikrimah then asked the Prophet what was the best that he could say,
and the Prophet told him that it was the declaration of God's
oneness. He asked him what was the next best. The Prophet said: "You
say: `I ask God to be my witness and all those present that I am a
Muslim who strive for Islam, ready to abandon my home for it.'
Ikrimah said that. The Prophet said to him: `You may ask me anything
today, and I will grant you that.'

Ikrimah said: `I request you to pray God to forgive me any hostile
act I did against you, and any effort or action to which I
contributed in opposition to you, and anything I said against you in
your presence or absence." The Prophet prayed God in exactly the same
words. Ikrimah then said: "Messenger of God! Whatever financial
contribution I made in opposition to God's cause, I will now
contribute double for Islam. And whatever fight I fought against
Islam, now I will fight double that for Islam."

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