Adiyy Ibn Hatim

Adiyy Ibn HatimAdiyy Ibn Hatim From AlimĀ® Online

In the ninth year of the Hijrah, an Arab king made the first positive moves to Islam after years of feeling hatred for it. He drew closer to faith (iman) after opposing and combating it. And he finally pledged allegiance to the Prophet, peace be on him, after his adamant refusal to do so.

He was Adiyy, son of the famous Hatim at-Taai who was known far and wide for his chivalry and fabulous generosity. Adiyy inherited the domain of his father and was confirmed in the position by the Tayy people. Part of his strength lay in the fact that a quarter of any amount they obtained as booty from raiding expeditions had to be given to him.

When the Prophet announced openly his call to guidance and truth and Arabs from one region after another accepted his teachings, Adiyy saw in his mission a threat to his position and leadership. Although he did not know the Prophet personally, and had nev er seen him, he developed strong feelings of enmity towards him. He remained antagonistic to Islam for close upon twenty years until at last God opened his heart to the religion of truth and guidance.

The way in which Adiyy became a Muslim is a remarkable story and he is perhaps the best person to relate it. He said:

“There was no man among the Arabs who detested God’s Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, more than I, when I heard about him. I was then a man of status and nobility. I was a Christian. From my people I took a fourth of their booty as was th e practice of other Arab kings.

When I heard of the Messenger of God, peace be on him, I hated him. When his mission grew in strength and when his power increased and his armies and expeditionary forces dominated east and west of the land of Arabs, I said to a servant of mine who looked after my camels:

‘Get ready a fat camel for me which is easy to ride and tether it close to me. If you hear of an army or an expeditionary force of Muhammad coming towards this land, let me know.’ One evening, my servant came to me and said: “Yaa Mawlaya! What you intend ed to do on the approach of Muhammad’s cavalry to your land, do it now.” ‘Why? May your mother lose you!’

‘I have seen scouts searching close to the habitations. I asked about them and was told that they belonged to the army of Muhammad,’ he said.

‘Bring the camel which I ordered you to get ready.’ I said to him. I got up then and there, summoned my household (including) my children and ordered them to evacuate the land we loved. We headed in the direction of Syria to join people of our own faith among the Christians and settle among them.

We left in too much haste for me to gather together our entire household. When I took stock of our situation, I discovered that part of my family was missing. I had left my own sister in our Najd homelands together with the rest of the Tayy people. I did not have any means to return to her. So I went on with those who were with me until I reached Syria and took up residence there among people of my own religion. As for my sister, what I feared for her happened.

News reached me while I was in Syria that the forces of Muhammad entered our habitations and took my sister together with a number of other captives to Yathrib. There she was placed with other captives in a compound near the door of the Masjid.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, passed by her. She stood up before him and said: ‘Yaa Rasulullah! My father is dead and my guardian is not here. Be gracious to me and God will be gracious to you!

‘And who is your guardian?’ asked the Prophet.

‘Adiyy ibn Hatim.’ she said.

‘The one who fled from God and His Prophet?’ he asked. He then left her and walked on.

On the following day, the same thing happened. She spoke to him just as she did the day before and he replied in the same manner. The next day, the same thing happened and she despaired of getting any concession from him for he did not say anything. Then a man from behind him indicated that she should stand up and talk to him. She therefore stood up and said:

‘O Messenger of God! My father is dead and my guardian is absent. Be gracious to me and God will be gracious to you.’ I have agreed he said. Turning to those about him, he instructed: likewise `Let her go for her father loved noble ways, and God loves th em.’

‘I want to join my family in Syria,’ she said.

“But don’t leave in a hurry,” said the Prophet, “until you find someone you can trust from your people who

could accompany you to Syria. If you find a trustworthy person, let me know.”

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