Companions of the Prophet – Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib (R.A)

The Lion of Allah

He came from a well-known family in Quraysh and was the son of a great leader, Abdul Muttalib, Muhammad S.A.W’s grandfather. He was a few years older than the Prophet S.A.W in age and was his uncle. Hamza R.A’s father died when he was only ten years of age.

As he grew older, Hamza R.A. became quite an expert at poetry. He was also astonishingly good at horse-riding, sword fighting, and archery. He was swift and courageous during hand-to-hand combat, which was a hobby for youngsters at the time. His skill and passion made him very well-known among the Quraysh.

When Prophet S.A.W began preaching to the people of Makkah, Hamza didn’t pay much attention to it. He also refused to tolerate anyone hurting the Prophet S.A.W, however, because that was his nephew and he loved him. Abu Jahl, who loved to mock and torture the Prophet, once threw a stone at Muhammad S.A.W’s head out of rage. The wound began to bleed. Standing nearby was a female slave who hated it when someone was tortured for their faith so she went and reported the incident to Hamza.

When he heard the news, Hamza felt outraged that Abu Jahl had hurt his nephew in this way, because even though he wasn’t a Muslim at that time, he was fond of the Prophet S.A.W, and so he immediately marched off to confront him. Going straight up to Abu Jahl, he exclaimed, “You coward! You hurt and abuse my nephew, even though I am of his religion!”

With that said, he threw his bow at the man which caused Abu Jahl’s face to bleed. The people around from Abu Jahal’s tribe were outraged at this behavior and got up to attack Hamza when Abu Jahl motioned for them to stop. “It was my fault,” he said I really did treat Mohammad quite badly.” [1]

After this incident, Hamza went straight to the Prophet S.A.W and said, “My nephew! Be happy, for I have taken your revenge against Abu Jahl.”

But in reply, he got something very different from what he expected.

The Prophet replied, “Oh uncle! I will only be happy when you accept Islam’s message.” [2]

Hamza R.A. was shocked when he heard this, because he had claimed to Abu Jahl that he was Muslim and hadn’t realized that he hadn’t actually accepted Islam. After a few nights of doubting and second-guessing his rash decision, he decided to accept Islam whole-heartedly afterall.

His conversion to Islam was extremely advantageous to the Muslims in Makkah as well because he was a respected man that could provide support for the weak members of the society. There was joy and celebration at the news of Hamza R.A.’s conversion.

Shortly after that, Umar R.A. also saw the light of Islam and embraced his new religion. While coming back from his sister Fatima’s house to Dar Al Arqam, where all Muslims gathered, Umar R.A. knocked on the door and told the people sitting inside who he was and that he was here to accept Islam. Upon hearing that he was standing outside, everyone became fearful, because the Muslims thought he was here to kill them and were fearful of his reputation. However, Hamza R.A., who was sitting among them, boldly stepped out, saying that they had no reason to be afraid of Umar. If Umar had come to accept the truth, then they should open the doors for him. If he had come to attack, then surely there were enough people in the room to protect themselves? This gave courage to the Muslims and they opened the door, after which Umar R.A. uttered the Shahadah and entered the folds of Islam.

Even after making Muslims’ life so difficult, the disbelievers of Quraysh were not content. They pronounced a boycott on all of Banu Hashim, and Hamza R.A. as the Prophet’s uncle was included in the ban.

As time passed, and the Muslims were allowed to live more freely again, and Allah S.W.T gave them leave for migration to Abyssinia, then to Madinah.

However, even after they were welcomed by their brothers in Madinah, things did not always go very smoothly. They were now allowed to go for Jihad (fighting for the cause of Allah). So it came about that Hamza R.A. was sent with a group of 30 Muhajireen, and he had the honor of holding up the first flag of Islam, handed to him by the Prophet S.A.W himself.

Just before the battle took place, the Muslims had a pond of water that they were drinking from. A disbeliever from the tribe Bani Makhzoom vowed that he would go and drink from that pond. When he set out, Hamza R.A. also stepped out from the other side and both of them started fighting some distance from the pond of water. Unable to compete with Hamza R.A.’s strength, the man fell and died. Thus, he was the first disbeliever to die, at the hands of Hamza R.A.

At the Battle of Badr, Hamza R.A shone as one of the people who fought bravely and remained beside the Prophet S.A.W. He was one of the three that stepped out to take part in the one-on-one combat against three of the strongest men in Quraysh. He impressively helped to bring down not only his own opponent Sheeba – who was one of the leaders of Quraysh – but also finished off Ubaida R.A’s opponent. Hamza R.A. tore through the battlefield like a lion, (thus earning himself the title: Lion of Allah) and no one dared to challenge him. At the end of the battle, the Muslims had succeeded in destroying their enemy.

At the Battle of Uhud, Hamza R.A. poured all his strength in destroying the troops of the enemy. He kept progressing forward, taking down anyone in his way. Towards the end of the unfortunate battle, a servant sent by Hind, the wife of one of the leaders of Quraysh, crept up behind Hamza R.A. and martyred him. The Prophet S.A.W felt great grief at the death of his beloved uncle and also at the way he had died, but endured it patiently.

Indeed, Hamza R.A. was one of the most courageous, most loyal supporters of Islam. All the Muslims were shocked and saddened by his death.

Even today, at the main gate of Mount. Uhud, you can see his grave with ‘Syed Al Shuhada’ carved into it, meaning the ‘Leader of Martyrs’.

It is a title well deserved.

May Allah S.A.W have mercy upon him. Ameen.



Author: Maryam Sohaib

[1] Roshni Kay Minar, page 207

[2] Roshni Kay Minar page 207

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