In this part, we will see how Prophet Muhammad dealt with `Umayr ibn Wahb who was going to kill him, Abu Sufyan ibn Al-Harith who used to satirize him and `Amr ibn Al-`Aas who used to fight against him and wished to kill him.
`Umayr ibn Wahb
`Umayr ibn Wahb was such a human demon who used to harm Prophet Muhammad and his Companions in Mecca. One day, `Umayr ibn Wahb sat down with Safwan ibn Umayyah lamenting their casualties at Badr Battle since `Umayr’s son, Wahb, was captured and Safwan’s father was killed.
Safwan lamented: “By God, there is nothing good in life after them.” `Umayr replied: “True! By God, were it not for a debt I cannot pay and children I fear they should be lost after me, I would have traveled to kill Muhammad. My son is held captive by them.”
Then, Safwan suggested: “I will pay your debt and console your children…” `Umayr replied: “Ok, but conceal this matter between me and you.” Safwan said: “Ok, I will do.”
Then, `Umayr had his sword sharpened and poisoned and then went to Medina. `Umar ibn Al-Khattab saw `Umayr ibn Wahb while he was making his camel kneeling down at the door of the mosque, girding himself with a sword.
`Umar then said: “This is the dog, the enemy of God, `Umayr ibn Wahb! He came only for something evil. It is he who stirred up discord among us and estimated our number for the people (Quraysh).” Then, `Umar came in to Prophet Muhammad and said: “O Prophet of God, this is the enemy of God, `Umayr ibn Wahb. He came girding himself with a sword.” Prophet Muhammad said: “Let him come in to me.” Then, `Umar put the sword belt on `Umayr’s neck and seized and dragged him along by it. Then, he said to the Ansari people around him: “Come in to the Messenger of God, sit down with him and guard him against this wicked guy for he is not faithful.”
Then, `Umar came in with him to Prophet Muhammad. When Prophet Muhammad saw `Umar dragging `Umayr along, with the sword belt placed on `Umayr’s neck, he instructed: “Release him, `Umar!” Then, he said: “Approach me, `Umayr!” Then, he approached him and greeted: “Good morning!” Prophet Muhammad replied: “God has blessed us with a greeting which is better than yours, `Umayr! Peace is the greeting of the inhabitants of Paradise.” `Umayr replied: “By God, it is new for me.” Then, Prophet Muhammad wondered: “Why have you come, `Umayr?” He replied: “I have come for the sake of the one you hold captive. So, treat him kindly.” Prophet Muhammad then asked: “What about the sword which is on your neck?” He replied: “May God disfigure such swords! Have they been of any help?” Once again, Prophet Muhammad asked: “Tell me the truth! Why have you come?” He asserted: “I came only for that.” Then, Prophet Muhammad revealed: “No, you rather sat down with Safwan ibn Umayyah in the lap of the Ka`bah and remembered the casualties of Quraysh and then you lamented: ‘Were it not for a debt I owe and children I have, I would have got out to kill Muhammad.’ Then, Safwan promised you to pay your debt and support your children so that you could kill me. But, God separates you from me.”
`Umayr then said: “I bear witness that you are the Messenger of God. O Messenger of God, we used to disbelieve the heavenly news and the revelation which are sent down to you. But, this is a matter which was witnessed only by me and Safwan. By God, I know for a certainty that it is God only Who can inform you about that. All praise is due to God Who guided me to Islam and steered me through this course.” Then, he took the testimony of faith and then Prophet Muhammad commanded: “Let your brother understand his religion, teach him the Qur’an and release his captive.”
In return, he requested: “O Messenger of God, I did my best to put out the light of God and seriously harm the believers in the religion of God. I would like that you permit me to come back to Mecca to invite them to God, His Messenger and Islam so that God may guide them…”
Abu Sufyan ibn Al-Harith
Abu Sufyan ibn Al-Harith used to satirize and abuse Prophet Muhammad and support Quraysh (the people of Mecca) as well as its allies. He could hardly be absent from any army amassed by Quraysh against Prophet Muhammad.
However, before the conquest of Mecca, Abu Sufyan ibn Al-Harith decided to go to Prophet Muhammad to embrace Islam. So Abu Sufyan took his son, Ja`far, and went out to meet Prophet Muhammad.
So they disguised themselves as veiled men and went to Prophet Muhammad and said: “Peace be upon you, Messenger of God!” Prophet Muhammad replied: “Uncover your faces so that you will be identified.” Thereupon, they uncovered their faces and said: “We bear witness that there is no deity but God and you are the Messenger of God.”
Since Abu Sufyan had once said in a poetic verse that he drove Prophet Muhammad out, Prophet Muhammad wondered: “When did you drive me out, Abu Sufyan?” Abu Sufyan replied: “No blame, Messenger of God!” Then, Prophet Muhammad said: “No blame, Abu Sufyan!”
As Prophet Muhammad had outlawed Abu Sufyan, he commanded `Ali ibn Abi Talib to call out to Muslims: “God and His Messenger are now pleased with Abu Sufyan ibn Al-Harith. So be pleased with him.”
`Amr ibn Al-`Aas
`Amr ibn Al-`Aas was one of the deadliest enemies of Islam. Following Muslims’ migration to Abyssinia, he headed a delegation from Quraysh and tried to force the Muslim migrants to return to Mecca but he could not. At Uhud Battle, under Khalid ibn Walid’s command, `Amr ibn Al-`Aas inflicted severe losses and heavy casualties on Prophet Muhammad and Muslims. He hated Prophet Muhammad so much and wished to kill him. Let’s read the following report about `Amr ibn Al-`Aas.
Ibn Shimasah Al-Mahry reported that he attended the last moments of `Amr ibn Al-`Aas’ life. He related that, while dying, `Amr cried for a long time and turned his face towards the wall. His son wondered: “What makes you cry, dad? Did Prophet Muhammad not bring you glad tidings about such and such?”
Then, `Amr turned his face towards his son and said: “Indeed, the best thing, after the testimony that there is no deity but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God, is that I went into three states: nobody hated the Messenger of God more than me, and nothing was beloved by me more than a chance to kill him. Had I died, being in such a state, I would have been one of the inmates of the Hellfire. When God caused Islam to enter my heart, I went to Prophet Muhammad and said: ‘Spread out your right hand so that I will pledge allegiance to you.’ Then, he spread out his right hand. Then, I took my hand back. Then, Prophet Muhammad wondered: ‘What is wrong with you, `Amr?’ I replied: ‘I wanted to lay down a condition.’ He asked: ‘What do you want to condition?’ I said: ‘That I am forgiven.’ Then, Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Do you not know that Islam tears down what preceded it, that migration tears down what preceded it and that pilgrimage tears down what preceded it?’ Nobody then was more beloved by me and loftier in my sight than Prophet Muhammad. I could not help looking at him closely out of esteem for him. Had I been asked to describe him, I would not have been able to do, simply because I could not look at him carefully. Had I died in such a state, I would have wished to be one of the inhabitants of Paradise…’” (Ahkam Al-Qur`an)
1- As-Sirah An-Nabawiyah, by Ibn Ishaq
2- Ahkam Al-Qur`an, by Ibn Al-Araby
Was Prophet Muhammad really so tolerant like that?