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Opinion

Random thoughts

Dr A Q Khan
May 22, 2017

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Hazrat Sumama

Hazrat Sumama

Random thoughts

In the sixth year of the Hijra, our Holy Prophet (pbuh) sent invitations to nearby chiefs and rulers to accept Islam. He wrote eight letters to the kings of Arab and Ajam. One of these kings was Sumama bin Usal. He was the chief of the Banu Hanifah tribe, a powerful tribe that nobody could dare to challenge or disobey.

When he received the letter, Sumama showed great anger about it and tore it to pieces. He even plotted to kill the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Although he failed in this heinous scheme, quite a few of the Prophet’s companions were killed during the scuffle. On hearing this, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) issued a decree against Sumama and ordered that he should be killed if caught.

After that despicable act, Sumama decided to go to Makkah to pray. His route took him near Madina. When he came near the city, the Muslim guards stationed around the city caught him and brought him to Masjid-e-Nabvi, where they tied him to a pillar. When the Holy Prophet (pbuh) came to the mosque to pray, he noticed that Sumama had been tied to the pillar. He asked the guards if they knew who he was. The guards said that they did not know his identity but had caught him while he was passing through the city.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) then informed them that he was Sumama bin Usal, the powerful and proud chief of the Banu Hanifah tribe. He tried to convince Sumama to accept Islam. But the chief rudely declined to do so. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) tried to persuade him for three days to convert to Islam. But Sumama remained arrogant and steadfast in his refusal. Then the Holy Prophet (pbuh) asked him to look into his eyes. But the chief of the tribe refused to comply with this request. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) then asked his companions to be respectful towards Sumama as he was the chief of a powerful tribe. As a result, they took him to the outskirts of the city and set him free.

When they returned, they joined the Holy Prophet (pbuh) who was sitting on the floor of Masjid-e-Nabvi. They were discussing religious matters when Sumama suddenly barged in and loudly recited the Kalma-e-Shahadat: “I believe that there is no God but Allah and I believe that Muhammad (pbuh) is His prophet/messenger.” He then turned to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and said that he had hated everything before he saw the Prophet’s face and now he believes that nothing was as beautiful as his face and everything around it. He voiced his regret at having killed many of the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) companions and was worried about what would happen to him on doomsday.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) told him not to worry as when one embraces Islam, all previous wrongdoings are cleansed. Hearing this, Hazrat Sumama was relieved and swore to become a trusted follower of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) from then on. Sumama said that he would kill more enemies of Islam than the Muslims he had killed in ignorance.

After a few days, Hazrat Sumama requested the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to go to Makkah to offer prayers (Umrah). The Holy Prophet (pbuh) taught him how to perform Umrah as per Islamic principles, after which Hazrat Sumama departed for Makkah. On reaching the Holy Kaaba, he loudly recited the prayer: “Oh Almighty, I am here; I am present before you. You are, no doubt, without comparison; I am here. All praise and blessings are Yours. You are the sovereign and You have no partners”. Hazrat Sumama was the first Muslim to recite this prayer loudly at the Holy Kaaba. When the locals (Quraish) heard this loud recital, they became furious and took out their swords to punish the culprit. When the mob came near him, Hazrat Sumama once again recited the prayer. The mob unsheathed their swords. One of them, who was holding a lance, moved towards Hazrat Sumama.

His way was blocked by some other people who said: “Don’t you know who this is? He is Sumama, the chief of Yamamah. If you dare to hurt him, his people will cut off all aid (edibles, etc) to us.” They then started talking amongst themselves. The mob turned to Sumama and asked him why he had converted from the religion of his elders, Sumama answered that he had embraced a better religion. He then warned them that not a single grain of wheat would reach them from Najd until they embraced Islam.

For the rest of his life, Hazrat Sumama remained a devoted and loyal follower of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). He fought against Musailamah bin Kazzab (a self-proclaimed prophet) and then recited a verse from Surah Al-Momin (40:2-3) that stated: “The revelation of this Book (Quran) is from Allah, exalted in power, full of knowledge. Who forgives sin, accepts repentance, is strict in punishment and has a long reach (in all things). There is no God but He. To Him is the final goal.” He then addressed his own people: “O Banu Hanifah: desist from doing wrong things. Musailamah Kazzab is a liar; protect yourself from his satanic tricks. You must know clearly that Muhammad (pbuh) is the true prophet of Allah and no other prophet will be sent by Allah until the Day of Resurrection and he has no partner in his prophethood.”

Then he asked his colleagues whether the rhetoric of Musailamah bin Kazzab was equal to the Holy Quran which the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had been given by the Almighty. “The rhetoric of this liar is no match for the beautiful verses of the Holy Quran. He is but a croaking frog who can neither stop somebody from drinking the water, nor can make it dirty,” he said. Then he asked his people (who had become devoted Muslims) to be ready for jihad to spread the word of Islam.

May Almighty Allah shower His blessings on Sumama and his compatriots.

For more information about Hazrat Sumama, please consult the following books: Al-Asabata fi tameczal sahabat a Ibn Hijr, Illas Teabe fis ma al Ashah, Seerat Ibn Hasham, Al-A’lam Lil zarkali and Hat-e-Suhaba ke Darak-shain Pehlu.

Email: dr.a.quadeer.khan@gmail.com

 

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