Umayr Ibn Wahb

Umayr Ibn WahbUmayr Ibn WahbScanned from: “Companions of The Prophet”, Vol.1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid.

Umayr ibn Wahb al-Jumahi returned safely from the Battle of~Badr. His son, Wahb, was left behind, a prisoner in the hands of the Muslims. Umayr feared that the Muslims would punish the youth severely because of the persecution he himself had meted out to the Prophet and the torture he had inflicted on his companions.

One morning Umayr went to the Sacred Mosque to make tawaf around the Ka’bah and worship his idols. He found Safwan ibn Umayyah sitting near the Ka’bah, went up to him and said:

“Im Sabahan (Good Morning), Quraysh chieftain.”

“Im Sabahan, Ibn Wahb,” replied Safwan. “Let us talk for some time. Time only goes by with conversation.”

Umayr sat next to him. The two men began to recall Badr, the great defeat they had suffered and they counted the prisoners who had fallen into the hands of Muhammad and his companions. They became deeply distressed at the number of great Quraysh men who had been killed by the swords of the Muslims and who lay buried in the mass grave at alQalib in Badr.

Safwan ibn Umayyah shook his head and sighed, “By God, there can be no better after them.”

“You are right,” declared Umayr. He remained silent for a while and then said, “By the God of the Ka’bah, if I had no debts and no family whose loss I fear after me, I would go to Muhammad and kill him, finish off his mission and check his evil.” He went on in a faint, subdued voice, “And as my son Wahb is among them, my going to Yathrib would be beyond doubt.”

Safwan ibn Umayyah listened intently to the words of Umayr and did not wish this opportunity to pass. He turned to him and said:

“Umayr, place all your debt in my hands and I will discharge it for you whatever the amount. As for your family, I shall take them as my own family and give them whatever they need. I have enough wealth to guarantee them a comfortable living.”

“Agreed,” said Umayr. “But keep this conversation of ours secret and do not divulge any of it to anyone.”

“That shall be so,” said Safwan.

Umayr left the Masjid al-Haram with the fire of hatred against Muhammad blazing in his heart. He began to count what he needed for the task he had set himself. He knew that he had the full support and confidence of the Quraysh who had members of their families held prisoner in Madinah.

Umayr had his sword sharpened and coated with poison. His camel was prepared and brought to him. He mounted the beast and rode in the direction of Madinah with evil in his heart.

Umayr reached Madinah and went directly towards the mosque looking for the Prophet. Near the door of the mosque, he alighted and tethered his camel.

At that time, Umar was sitting with some of the Sahabah near the door of the Mosque, reminiscing about Badr, the number of prisoners that had been taken and the number of Quraysh killed. They also recalled the acts of heroism shown by the Muslims, both the Muhajirun and the Ansar and gave thanks to God for the great victory He had given them.

At that very moment Umar turned around and saw Umayr ibn Wahb alighting from his camel and going towards the Mosque brandishing his sword. Alarmed, he jumped up and shouted. “This is the dog, the enemy of God, Umayr ibn Wahb. By God, he has only come to do evil. He led the Mushrikeen against us in Makkah and he was a spy for them against us shortly before Badr. Go to the Messenger of God, stand around him and warn him that this dirty traitor is after him.”

Umar himself hastened to the Prophet and said, “O Rasulullah, this enemy of God, Umayr ibn Wahb, has come brandishing his sword and I think that he could only be up to something evil.”

“Let him come in,” said the Prophet.

Umar approached Umayr, took hold of him by the tails of his robes, pressed the back of his sword against his neck and took him to the Prophet.

When the Prophet saw Umayr in this condition he said to Umar:

“Release him.” He then turned to Umayr and said:

“Come closer.”

Umayr came closer and said, “Anim Sabahan (the Arab greeting in the days of Jahiliyyah).”

“God has granted us a greeting better than this, Umayr,” said the Prophet. “God has granted us the greeting of PeaceƑit is the greeting of the people of Paradise.”

“What have you come for?” continued the Prophet.

“I came here hoping to have the prisoner in your hands released, so please oblige me.”

“And what is this sword around your neck for?” quizzed the Prophet.

“Tell me the truth. What have you come for, Umayr?” prodded the Prophet.

“I have only come to have the prisoner released,” insisted Umayr.

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