Hamzah bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib, the Prophet’s paternal uncle, was suckled by the same two wet nurses, Thuyeba and Haleemah As-Sa‘diyah, who suckled the Prophet (S).
It is recorded that the Prophet (S) was one day seated on Safa when Abu Jahl happened to pass by and attacked the religion preached by him. Muhammad (S), however, kept silent and did not utter a single word. Abu Jahl went on unchecked, took a stone and cracked the Prophet’s head, which began to bleed. The aggressor then went to join the Quraishites in their assembly place.
It so happened that shortly after that, Hamzah, while returning from a hunting expedition, passed by the same way, his bow hanging by his shoulder. A slave-girl belonging to ‘Abdullah bin Jada‘an, who had noted the rudeness of Abu Jahl, told him the whole story of the attack on the Prophet (S). On hearing that, Hamzah was deeply offended and hurried to Al-Ka‘bah and there, in the courtyard of the Holy Sanctuary, found Abu Jahl sitting with a company of Quraishites. Hamzah rushed upon him and struck his bow upon his head violently and said: "Ah! You have been abusing Muhammad (S); I too follow his religion and profess what he preaches." The men of Bani Makhzum came to his help, and men of Bani Hashim wanted to render help, but Abu Jahl sent them away saying: "Let Abu ‘Ummarah alone, by Allâh I did revile his nephew shamelessly."
Hamzah’s conversion derived initially from the pride of a man who would not accept the notion of others humiliating his relative. Later on, however, Allâh purified his nature and he managed to grasp the trustworthiest handhold (Faith in Allâh). He proved to be a source of great strength to the Islamic Faith and its followers.
Hamzah led the Saif Al-Bahr Platoon sent in Ramadan 1 A.H., i.e. 623 A.D. comprising of 30 Emigrants with a definite task of intercepting a caravan belonging to Quraish. It was a caravan of 300 people including Abu Jahl bin Hisham. The two parties encountered each other and aligned in preparation for fighting. Majdi bin ‘Amr, on good terms with both sides, happened to be there and managed to prevent an imminent clash. On that occasion, the Prophet (S) accredited the first flag in the history of Muslims. It was white in color and was entrusted to Kinaz bin Husain Al-Ghanawi, to carry. Hamzah, himself, would carry the white flag in Ghazwa Al-Abwa’, the first battle led by Muhammad (S).
During the battle of Badr, Hamzah was the first to kill a disbeliever whose name was Al-Aswad bin ‘Abdul Asad Al-Makhzumi, a fierce bad-tempered idolater. He stepped out swearing he would drink from the water basin of the Muslims, otherwise, destroy it or die for it. He engaged with Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib, who struck his leg with his sword and dealt him another blow that finished him off inside the basin.
The Battle of Uhud
Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib displayed wonderful feats of gallantry against the overwhelming odds which stood unparalleled and created bewilderment and confusion in the disbelieving hosts. Heroes dispersed off his way as if they had been tree-leaves blown away by strong wind. In addition to his effective contribution to the annihilation of the idolaters who stood in defense of the standard, he was even of much greater effect at fighting against men of bravery and distinguished horsemen. It was Allâh’s Will that he be murdered when he was at the top. He was not killed in a face-to-face fight on the battlefield , but rather assassinated in the dead-dark as was the custom of killing generous and noble men that were impossible to kill in an honorable fight.
Assassination of Asadullâh (the Lion of Allâh) Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib:
Hamzah’s assassin described how he killed Hamzah. He said: "I was a slave working to Jubair bin Mut‘im, whose paternal uncle Tu‘aimah bin ‘Adi was injured at Badr Battle. So when Quraish marched to Uhud, Jubair said to me: ‘If you kill Hamzah, the uncle of Muhammad, stealthily you shall be freed.’ "
"So I marched with the people to Uhud…when the two parties fought, I set out seeking Hamzah. I saw him amidst people fighting. He was like a white and black striped camel, striking severely with his sword and no one could stand on his way. By Allâh! When I was getting ready and trying to seize the fit opportunity to spear him, hiding sometimes behind a tree or a rock hoping that he might draw nearer and be within range — at that moment I caught sight of Siba‘ bin ‘Abd Al-‘Uzza going closer towards him. When Hamzah observed him, he said: ‘Come on! O son of the ‘clitoris-cutter.’ — for his mother used to be a circumciser. Then he struck one strong stroke that could hardly miss his head."
Wahshi said: "Then I balanced my spear and shook it till I was content with it, then I speared him and it went down into his stomach and issued out between his legs. He attempted moving towards me but his wound overcame him. I left him there with the spear till he died. Then I came to him, pulled out my spear and returned to the encampment place. I stayed there and did not go out, for he was the only one I sought. I only killed him to free myself. So as soon as I got back to Makkah, I became a free man."
Hind bin ‘Utbah ripped open the liver of Hamzah and chewed it; but finding it unpleasant, she spat it out. She even made the ears and noses of Muslims into anklets and necklaces.
When the Messenger of Allâh (S) saw how his uncle and foster brother, Hamzah, was mutilated, he was extremely grieved. When his aunt Safiyah came to see her brother Hamzah, the Messenger of Allâh (S) ordered her son Az-Zubair to dismiss her in order not to see what happened to her brother. She refused and said, "But why should I go away. I have been informed that they have mutilated him. But so long as it is in the way of Allâh, whatever happens to him satisfies us. I say: Allâh is Sufficient and I will be patient if Allâh wills." She approached, looked at him and supplicated Allâh for him and said: "To Allâh we all belong and to Him we will verily return." and she implored Allâh to forgive him. Then the Messenger of Allâh (S) ordered that he should be buried with ‘Abdullah bin Jahsh — who was his nephew as well as his foster brother.
Ibn Mas‘ud said: We have never seen the Messenger of Allâh (S) weeping so much as he was for Hamzah bin ‘Abdul Muttalib. He directed him towards Al-Qiblah, then he stood at his funeral and sobbed his heart out.
The sight of the martyrs was extremely horrible and heart-breaking. Describing Hamzah’s funeral, Khabbab said: "No shroud long enough was available for Hamzah except a white-darkish garment. When they covered his head with it, it was too short to cover his feet. Similarly if they covered his feet his head would be revealed. Finally they covered his head with it and put some plant called ‘Al-Idhkhir’ to cover his feet."
Hamzah showed extreme dedication to Islam, and showed his courage and bravery to the end. He is a role model for all Muslims to follow.
The Sealed Nectar, Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri
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