At-Tufayl Ibn Amr Ad-Dawsi

At-Tufayl Ibn Amr Ad-DawsiAt-Tufayl Ibn Amr Ad-Dawsi Scanned from “Companions of The Prophet”, Vol. 1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid.

At-Tufayl ibn Amr was the chief of the Daws tribe in preQur’anic times and a distinguished Arab notable known for his manly virtues and good works.

He fed the hungry, comforted those in distress and granted asylum to refugees. He was also keenly interested in literature and was himself a sharp and sensitive poet capable of expressing the most delicate emotions.

Tufayl left the hearths of his village in Tihama in the south of the Arabian peninsula and set out for Makkah. The struggle between the noble Prophet and the disbelieving Quraysh was already at its height. Each wanted to gain support for his cause and recruit helpers. The Prophet, peace and blessings of God be on him, sought help from his Lord. His weapons were faith and truth. The disbelieving Quraysh resisted his message with every weapon, and attempted to keep people away from it by all the means at their disposal.

Tufayl found himself entering this battle without any preparation or warning. He did not come to Makkah to get involved in it. Indeed he was not aware of the struggle that was taking place.

Let Tufayl himself take up the story from this point:

I approached Makkah. As soon as the Quraysh leaders saw me, they came up to me and gave me a most hearty welcome and accommodated me in a grand house. Their leaders and notables then gathered and said:

“O Tufayl, you have come to our town. This man who claims that he is a Prophet has ruined our authority and shattered our community. We are afraid that he would succeed in undermining you and your authority among your people just as he has done with us. Don’t speak to the man. On no account listen to anything he has to say. He has the speech of a wizard, causing division between father and son, between brother and brother and between husband and wife.”

They went on telling me the most fantastic stories and scared me by recounting tales of his incredible deeds. I made up my mind then not to approach this man, or speak to him or listen to anything he had to say.

The following morning I went to the Sacred Mosque to make tawaf around the Ka’bah as an act of worship to the idols that we made pilgrimage to and glorified. I inserted a piece of cotton in my ears out of fear that something of the speech of Muhammad would reach my hearing. As soon as I entered the Mosque, I saw him standing near the Ka’bah. He was praying in a fashion which was different from our prayer. His whole manner of worship was different. The scene captivated me. His worship made me tremble and I felt drawn to him, despite myself, until I was quite close to him.

Notwithstanding the precaution I had taken, God willed that some of what he was saying should reach my hearing and I heard a speech that was so beautiful that I said to myself, “What are you doing, Tufayl? You are a perceptive poet. You can distinguish between the good and the bad in poetry. What prevents you from listening to what this man is saying? If what comes from him is good, accept it, and if it is bad, reject it.”

I remained there until the Prophet left for his home. I followed him as he entered his house, and I entered also and said, “O Muhammad, your people have said certain things to me about you. By God, they kept on frightening me away from your message so that I even blocked my ears to keep out your words. Despite this, God caused me to hear something of it and I found it good. So tell me more about your mission.”

The Prophet, peace be upon him, did and recited to me Sarah al-Ikhlaas and Sarah al-Falaq. I swear by God, I had never heard such beautiful words before. Neither was a more noble or just mission ever described to me. Thereupon, I stretched out my hand to him in allegiance and testified that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. This is how I entered Islam.

I stayed on for some time in Makkah learning the teachings of Islam and memorizing parts of the Qur’an. When I decided to return to my people, I said, “O Rasulullah, I am a man who is obeyed in his tribe. I am going back to them and I shall invite them to Islam . . .”

When I returned to my people, my fatherÑwho was quite old thenÑcame up to me and I said, ‘O Father, let me relate my news to you. I am no longer from you and you are not of me.”

“Why so, my son?” he asked.

“I have accepted Islam and now follow the religion of Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be upon him,” I replied.

“My son,” he said, “your religion is my religion.”

“Go and wash yourself and cleanse your clothes,” I said. “Then come that I may teach you what I have learnt.”

This the old man did and I explained Islam to him and he became a Muslim.

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