Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl

“I am Hind, the daughter of Utbah, O Messenger of God. ”

“Welcome to you,” replied the Prophet, peace be on him.

“By God, O Prophet” continued Hind, “there was not a house on earth that I wanted to destroy more than your house. Now, there is no house on earth that I so dearly wish to honour and raise in glory than yours.”

Umm Hakim then got up and professed her faith in Islam and said:

“O Messenger of God, Ikrimah has fled from you to the Yemen out of fear that you would kill him. Grant him security and God will grant you security.”

“He is secure,” promised the Prophet.

Umm Hakim set out immediately in search of Ikrimah. Accompanying her was a Greek slave. When they had gone quite far on the way, he tried to seduce her but she managed to put him off until she came to a settlement of Arabs. She sought their help against him. They tied him up and kept him. Umm Hakim continued on her way until she finally found Ikrimah on the coast of the Red Sea in the region of Tihamah. He was negotiating transport with a Muslim seaman who was saying to him:

“Be pure and sincere and I will transport you.”

“How can I be pure?” asked Ikrimah.

“Say, I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

“I have fled from this very thing,” said Ikrimah.

At this point, Umm Hakim came up to Ikrimah and said:

“O cousin, I have come to you from the most generous of men, the most righteous of men, the best of men . . . from Muhammad ibn Abdullah. I have asked him for an amnesty for you. This he has granted. So do not destroy yourself.”

“Have you spoken to him?”

“Yes, I have spoken to him and he has granted you amnesty,” she assured him and he returned with her. She told him about the attempt of their Greek slave to dishonour her and Ikrimah went directly to the Arab settlement where he lay bound and killed him.

At one of their resting places on their way back, Ikrimah wanted to sleep with his wife but she vehemently refused and said:

“I am a Muslimah and you are a lifushrik.”

Ikrimah was totally taken aback and said, “Living without you and without your sleeping with me is an impossible situation.”

As Ikrimah approached Makkah, the Prophet, peace be upon him, told his companions:

“Ikrimah ibn abi Jahl shall come to you as a believer and a muhajEr (a refugee). Do not insult his father. Insulting the dead causes grief to the living and does not reach the dead.”

Ikrimah and his wife came up to where the Prophet was sitting. The Prophet got up and greeted him enthusiastically.

“Muhammad,” said Ikrimah, “Umm Hakim has told me that you have granted me an amnesty.”

“That’s right,” said the Prophet, “You are safe.”

“To what do you invite?” asked Ikrimah.

“I invite you to testify that there is no god but Allah and that I am the servant of Allah and His messenger, to establish Prayer and pay the Zakat and carry out all the other obligations of Islam.”

“By God,” responded Ikrimah, “You have only called to what is true and you have only commanded that which is good. You lived among us before the start of your mission and then you were the most trustworthy of us in speech and the most righteous of us.” Stretching forth his hands he said, “I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger.” The Prophet then instructed him to say, “I call on God and those present here to witness that I am a Muslim who is a Mujahid and a Muhajir”. This Ikrimah repeated and then said:

“I ask you to ask God for forgiveness for me for all the hostility I directed against you and for whatever insults I expressed in your presence or absence.” The Prophet replied with the prayer:

“O Lord, forgive him for all the hostility he directed against me and for all the expeditions he mounted wishing to put out Your light. Forgive him for whatever he has said or done in my presence or absence to dishonour me.” Ikrimah’s face beamed with happiness.

“By God, O messenger of Allah, I promise that whatever I have spent obstructing the way of God, I shall spend twice as much in His path and whatever battles I have fought against God’s way I shall fight twice as much in His way.”

From that day on, Ikrimah was committed to the mission of Islam as a brave horseman in the field of battle and as a steadfast worshipper who would spend much time in mosques reading the book of God. Often he would place the mushaf on his face and say, “The Book of my Lord, the words of my Lord” and he would cry from the fear of God.

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