Amr Ibn Al-Jamuh

One night Amr’s sons went with their friend Muadh ibn Jabal to Manat, took the idol from its place and threw it in a cess pit belonging to the Banu Salamah. They returned to their homes with no one knowing anything about what they had done. When Amr woke up the following morning, he went in quiet reverence to pay his respects to his idol but did not find it.

“Woe to you all,” he shouted. “Who has attacked our god last night?”

There was no reply from anyone. He began to search for the idol, fuming with rage and threatening the perpetrators of the crime. Eventually he found the idol turned upside down on its head in the pit. He washed and perfumed it and returned it to its usual place saying. “If I find out who did this to you, I will humiliate him.”

The following night the boys did the same to the idol. The old man recovered it, washed and perfumed it as he had done before and returned it to its place. This happened several times until one night Amr put a sword around the idol’s neck and said to it:

“O Manat, I don’t know who is doing this to you. If you have any power of good in you, defend yourself against this evil. Here is a sword for you.”

The youths waited until Amr was fast asleep. They took the sword from the idol’s neck and threw it into the pit. Amr found the idol lying face down in the pit with the sword nowhere in sight. At last he was convinced that the idol had no power at all and did not deserve to be worshipped. It was not long before he entered the religion of Islam.

Amr soon tasted the sweetness of iman or faith in the One True God. At the same time he felt great pain and anguish within himself at the thought of every moment he had spent in shirk. His acceptance of the new religion was total and he placed himself, his wealth and his children in the service of God and His Prophet.

The extent of his devotion was shown during the time of the battle of Uhud. Amr saw his three sons preparing for the battle. He looked at the three determined young men fired by the desire to gain martyrdom, success and the pleasure of God. The scene had a great effect on him and he resolved to go out with them to wage jihad under the banner of the messenger of God. The youths, however, were all against their father carrying out his resolve. He was already quite old and was extremely weak.

“Father,” they said, “surely God has excused you. So why do you take this burden on yourself?”

The old man became quite angry and went straight away to the Prophet to complain about his sons:

“O Rasulullah! My sons here want to keep me away from this source of goodness arguing that I am old and decrepit. By God, I long to attain Paradise this way even though I am old and infirm.”

“Let him,” said the Prophet to his sons. “Perhaps God, the Mighty and the Great, will grant him martyrdom.’

Soon it was time to go out to battle. Amr bade farewell to his wife, turned to the qiblah and prayed:

“O Lord, grant me martyrdom and don’t send me back to my family with my hopes dashed.”

He set out in the company of his three sons and a large contingent from his tribe, the Banu Salamah.

As the battle raged, Amr could be seen moving in the front ranks, jumping on his good leg (his other leg was partially lame), and shouting,

“I desire Paradise, I desire Paradise.”

His son Khallad remained closely behind him and they both fought courageously in defence of the Prophet while many other Muslims deserted in pursuit of booty. Father and son fell on the battlefield and died within moments of each other.

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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