Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wahshi ibn Harb: A distinguished name of a Killer.


Wahshi ibn Harb (literally- the son of war) was the Ethiopian slave of Jubayr ibn Mut'im. He is known as a killer of Hamza ibn abd al-Muttalib- uncle of the Prophet Muhammad and Musaylimah ibn Sumama bin Kabir bin Habib al-kaddab -the false Prophet.

When the prophet inviting people to Islam, only the lower class People accepting that. Thus when Ranin, the slave of Qmar accept Islam, the Quraish began to say, "If Islam is a good Religion, then the people like Ranin can't go forward letting us behind." 
Ancient Spear.

However, When the Holy Prophet sent someone to Wahshi. the slave of Jubayr, inviting him to Islam. Wahshi sent a message to him: “O Muhammad! How do you invite me towards Islam, when you say that the murderer, polytheist and the adulterer will enter the Hell, will be given double punishment on the Day of Judgment, and will abide there forever? I have committed all these sins. Is there anyway (of salvation) for me in spite of all this?” 

On this the following Quranic verse was revealed: “Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for them Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.”-(25:70) 

Wahshi replied to this, “O Muhammad! This condition: “Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous…” is very hard for me.”

Then Allah revealed the following verse: “Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him (I.e. polytheism); but He forgiveth Whom He pleaseth other sins than this…” -(4: 116)

Wahshi again said, “O Muhammad! It is purely at Allah’s Will. I’m not certain whether I will be forgiven or not.Tell whether there is any other way?” 

Then the following revelation came down: “Say: O my servants who have transgressed against their souls: Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” -(39:53) 

Then the Muslims (i.e. the Companions) said, “We also had the same questions in our mind that was asked by Wahshi.” The Holy Prophet said, “The above is a glad tiding for all Muslims.” -[The Islamic Bulletin Volume XXII No. 27, Page 29].

Hearing this Wahshi said, “This is good,”. But he didn't accept Islam at that time. May be it was because of his master. As Quraish declared, "No one accept Islam without his masters permission." Otherwise, because of fearing torture that Quraish usually doing for the new Muslims.

In the battle of Badr, many of the Quraish Leader killed, among them, Tu'ayma ibn 'Adi bin al-Khaiyar, and Othba ibn abi Rabia were included. Then at the time of Uhud, Hind- the daughter of Othba and the wife of Abu Sufiyan offered a proposal to Wahshi that if he would able to kill any of the three viz. Muhammad ibn abd-Allah, Ali ibn abi-Talib, or Hamza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib so that she might avenge her father's death at the Battle of Badr with a promise that if he was successful in doing the job, she would take necessary steps to set him free.

Hamza killed Tu'ayma ibn 'Adi bin al-Khaiyar at the battle of Badr, who was the paternal uncle of Jubayr ibn Mut'im. So, when the Quraish preparing themselves for a battle again for revenge and to defeat Muslim, his master Jubayr told him, ‘if you kill Hamza, the uncle of Muhammad, stealthily in revenge for my uncle, you shall be manumitted.’ So it was a double chance for Wahshi to free himself from the slave chain that coupling his neck a long time ago.

When the people set out (for the battle) in the year of ‘Ainain. [‘Ainain is a mountain near the mountain of Uhud, and between it and Uhud there is a valley where the battle take places]. I went out with the people to participate in the battle. 

On the Day of Uhud (625), when the army aligned for the fight, Wahshi set out seeking his prey. It was impossible for him to approach Muhammad, because his companions were nearer to him, guarding. He thought that Ali is extraordinarily vigilant in the battlefield, while, Hamza is furious at fighting, he does not pay any attention to any other side and it is possible that he may able to make him fall by some trick or by taking an opportunity of his unawares.

While he was thinking, he notice Siba’ came out from the Quraish side and said, ‘Is there any (Muslim) to accept my challenge to a duel?’ 
And Hamza ibn 'abd al-Muttalib heard him, came out, roaring, ‘O Siba’. O Ibn Um Anmar, the one who circumcises other ladies! Do you challenge Allah and His Apostle?’ 

Siba ibn abd al-Uzza going closer towards him. Hamza observed him carefully, he said: ‘Come on! O son of the clitoris-cutter,’. He then struck him a blow so quickly that it appeared to have missed his head. But that not happened, the blow had taken his head off.

Wahshi hiding himself under a rock keeping his eyes to Hamza, and when he came near to him, he came out of ambush, from a specific distance after moving his spear in a particular manner he balanced his weapon and threw it. Like other African, Wahshi was too skilled at spearing, it never missed the target. 

Wahshi, looked at his spear, it still flying towards the target, then suddenly hit Hamza into his umbilicus and came out through his buttocks. He attempted moving towards Wahshi to attack him but severe pain prevented him from doing so. He remained in the same condition till his soul departed from his body. Then he came to him, pulled out his spear, returned to the encampment place and waited for his freedom. He stayed there and did not go out, for Hamza was the only one he sought, sought to kill him to free himself from slavery. He didn't involved himself in the battle.

When the battle field fully under controlled by the Quraish, Hind binte Othba find the body of Hamza, who killed his father Othba ibn Rabia in the battle of Badr. She was furious, open his chest with knife and bring out his liver, then she chewed it sitting on his breast.

When the battle was over and all the people returned to Mecca. Washi, too returned with them. He was happy, starting living there a new life as a free man.

Rasulullah heard the news of the death of his uncle. It was beyond imagine how devastating all that happened to him. This was his uncle whom he loved much. He asked if anyone had seen the place where his uncle had been killed. One of the sahabah stood out and said that he did, they went there together.

When he saw him, he cried. When he saw that his stomach was open and his insides were pulled out. The sahabah who had taken him there said that he was not in the state he had seen him when he was killed, it happened later on. This may be the action of Hind bint Utbah, wife of Abu Sufyan, who wanted to eat the liver of Hamza. 

On the eve of the conquest of Mecca, Wahshi declared 'war criminals' for killing Hamza by the Prophet. So he fled from Mecca. Wahshi said, "After the Battle of Uhud, I continued to live in Mecca for quite a long time until conquered by Muslim. I then ran away to Ta'if."

Wahshi lived a few years in Ta'if among the Thaqeef. In 9 Hijri, when the people of Taif preparing to sent their deligation to Allah's Apostle, to accept Islam. This was a critical situation for Wahshi, he didn’t know what to do. If Taif was going to accept Islam, where could he go.

At last he decided to go to Syria or Yemen or some other country. That was really a state of indecision and anxiety for him, then someone told him, ‘come on with us, I swear he’ll not kill anyone who has adopted his religion and testified to the truth’.” News of the forbearance was all over, his forgiveness and his mercy was known.

He was told that the Prophet did not harm the messengers; So he too went out with them as a member of the delegation to the prophet at Madina. Then when the Thaqeef submitted to the Prophet, Wahshi too embraced Islam and went personally to swear allegiance to the Prophet.

Wahshi said, "I heard that however grave the crime of a person might be, God forgave him. I, therefore, reached him with Shahadatayn on my lips".

The Prophet saw him.  He had not seen him for many years, and was not certain if he was the man, "Are you the same Wahshi, the Ethiopian?" 
He replied in the affirmative. Thereupon he signed me to sit down and then asked me, "How did you kill Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib?" 

Wahshi recounted the whole story from beginning to end. But he only replied, 'What happened is what you have been told of.' he continued, 'and what is not told you that I killed him only to free myself from the bond of my slavery, I didn't take part in the battle."   

There was a pin drop silent all around. On the face of the Prophet was a look of deep sorrow as he moved, said, "I should not see your face until you are resurrected, because the heart-rending calamity fell upon my uncle at your hands".

Rasulullah did not want to see the face of Wahshi again as it would bring back memories of his uncle. Something inside warned him to remain in Medina, where the memory of Hamza was deeply cherished, might be unhealthy for him. He left at once.

For the next two years he lived in various settlements around Taif, seeking obscurity and avoiding travellers. He was troubled by his conscience and feared for his life. It was a wretched existence. But he remained loyal to his new faith and elected to fight for Islam against the unbelievers. Then he came to the apostasy. 

When Allah’s Messenger died, and Musaylimah claiming to be a prophet, Wahshi decided to participate in the battle against him, so that he may kill him, and make some amends in retribution the killing of Hamza. So he went out with the people to fight against Musaylimah and his followers and then God fulfilled his wish, gave him an opportunity to re-compensate his deed's.

Wahshi came to the apostasy under the command of Khalid bin Walid. He was loyal to his new faith and elected to fight for Islam against the unbelievers.Then it was against Musaylimah, the battle at Aqraba. 

When the 3rd part of the battle inside the Garden starts, Wahshi searching all over for Musaylimah. Then his eagle eye caught him in a distance protected by his men. The range was not too long for him. Quickly he poised and aimed his spear to the target. It was the same spear that pierce Hamza before.

Musaylimah standing near a gap in a wall with a sword in his right hand. He looked like an ash-colored camel and his hair was dishevelled. Surely it was Musaylimah and Wahshi threw his spear at him.

An Ansari man named Abu Dojona trying to reach Musaylimah opposite to him, but before he getting him, the spear that thrown by Wahshi stalked him to the ground helplessly. At that moment Abu Dojona get him and struck him on the head and separated it from his body. But he was also beheaded by a sword from behind at the same time. Seeing the fate of Musaylimah,[reported by Abdullah ibn Omar] a slave girl from the roof of a house exclaimed: "Alas! The chief of the believers has been killed by a black slave.” 

Wahshi  later take part tn the war against Syria under the command of Khalid ibn Walid. When it was conquered and became a part of the Muslim Empire, he settled in Hims at Emessa, Syria. While living there, he became addicted to excessive drinking. As a result, he is punished according to Sharia law . Caliph Omar ordered him to 80 lashes. He was the first Muslim in Syria came under the penalty for such offenses. However, after the punishment he could not give up drinking. The despair Omar commented, "Perhaps the curse of Allah rests on the Savage for the blood of Hamza."

The rest of the days of Wahshi passed in
Hims at Emessa, Syria. But he became quite famous. Many were gathered at his home to see him a look. However, though he drunkard all the time, but for the sake of arrivals he told them the details killing, Hamza and Musaylimah. And at he put an end with this historic conclusion-  "With this spear, in my days of unbelief I killed Hamza, a man among the best and in my days of belief I killed Musaylimah, the man among the worst!" and he take the spear on his lap that was stranded besides his sitting place then he became silent and mindlessly keep touching the spear lengthwise carefully, tenderly.

Same story going on...

Jafar bin Amr bin Umaiya and ‘Ubaidullah bin 'Adi Al-Khaiyar went out together and when they reached Hims, a town in Syria, ‘Ubaidullah told Jafar, “Would you like to see Wahshi so that we may ask him about the killing of Hamza?”
He replied, “Yes.” 

Wahshi used to live in Hims. So, they enquired about him and somebody told them, “He is that in the shade of his palace, as if he were a full water skin.” So they went up and when they were at a short distance, they saw him. They greeted him and he also greeted them in return. Ubaidullah hide himself wearing his turban, so that Wahshi could not see except his eyes and feet. Then he said, “O Wahshi! Do you know me?” 

Wahshi looked at him and then said, “No, by Allah! But I know that `Adi bin Al-Khiyar married a woman called Um Qital, the daughter of Abu al-As, and she delivered a boy for him at Mecca, and I looked for a wet nurse for that child. I carried that child along with his mother and then I handed him over to her, and your feet resemble that child’s feet.”

Then Ubaidullah uncovered his face and told him, “Will you tell us the story of the killing of Hamza?” 
Wahshi keep silent for a moment,then said, "Sure." He began to tell his story. Nothing to recall as it already been told many many times to the visitors....

The End.
Not yet Justified.

Source:
Qur'an
Sahih al-Bukhari 
The Sealed Nectar, Mubarakfuri,

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