Umayr Ibn Wahb

“No. You and Safwan ibn Umayyah sat near the Ka’bah recalling your companions who lie buried at al-Qalib and then you said, ‘If I had no debt or no family to look after, I would certainly go out to kill Muhammad.’ Safwan took over your debt and promised to look after your family in return for your agreeing to kill me. But God is a barrier between you and your achieving your aim.” Umayr stood stupefied for a moment, then said:

“I bear witness that you are the messenger of God.”

“We used, O messenger of God,” he continued, “to reject whatever good you had brought and whatever revelation came to you. But my conversation with Safwan ibn Umayyah was not known to anyone else. By God, I am certain that only God could have made this known to you. Praise be to God Who has led me to you that He may guide me to Islam.” He then testified that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and became a Muslim. Thereupon, the Prophet instructed his companions:

“Instruct your brother in his religion. Teach him the Qur’an and set free his prisoner.”

The Muslims were extremely happy with Umayr’s acceptance of Islam. Even Umar, who once said of him, “A pig is certainly dearer to me than Umayr ibn Wahb” came up to the Prophet and exclaimed, “Today, he is dearer to me than some of my own children.”

Thereafter Umayr spent much time increasing his knowledge of Islam and filling his heart with the light of the Qur’an. There, in Madinah, he spent the sweetest and richest days of his life away from what he had known in Makkah.

Back in Makkah, Safwan was filled with hope and would say to the Quraysh, “I will soon give you some great news that would make you forget the events of Badr.”

Safwan waited for a long time and then gradually became more and more anxious. Greatly agitated, he would go out and ask travellers what news they had of Umayr ibn Wahb but no one was able to give him a satisfactory reply. Eventually a rider came and said, “Umayr has become a Muslim.”

The news hit Safwan like a thunderbolt. He was certain that Umayr would never become a Muslim and if he ever did then everyone on the face of the earth would become Muslim also. ‘4Never shall I speak to him and never shall I do anything for him,” he said.

Umayr meanwhile kept on striving to gain a good understanding of his religion and memorize whatever he could of the words of God. When he felt he had achieved a certain degree of confidence, he went to the Prophet and said:

“O Rasulullah, much time has passed since I used to try to put out the light of God and severely tortured whoever was on the path of Islam. Now, I desire that you should give me permission to go to Makkah and invite the Quraysh to God and His Messenger. If they accept it from me, that will be good. And if they oppose me, I shall harass them as I used to harass the companions of the Prophet.”

The Prophet gave his consent and Umayr left for Makkah. He went straight to the house of Safwan ibn Umayyah and said:

“Safwan, you are one of the chieftains of Makkah and one of the most intelligent of the Quraysh. Do you really think that these stones you are worshipping and making sacrifice to, deserve to be the basis of a religion? As for myself, I declare that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

At Umayr’s hands, many Makkans became Muslims, but Safwan did not.

Later, during the liberation of Makkah, Safwan ibn Umayyah attempted to flee from the Muslim forces. Umayr, however, obtained an amnesty from the Prophet for him and he too became a Muslim and distinguished himself in the service of Islam.

Scanned from: “Companions of The Prophet”, Vol.1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid.

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

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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