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A Look At Answering Islam's Article
"Muhammad and Umaiya bin Khalaf Abi Safwan"

By
Bassam Zawadi

 

 

 

Their article can be located here http://www.answering-islam.org/Muhammad/Enemies/umaiya.html 

 

Answering Islam said:

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 826:

 

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:

Sa'd bin Mu'adh came to Mecca with the intention of performing 'Umra, and stayed at the house of Umaiya bin Khalaf Abi Safwan, for Umaiya himself used to stay at Sa'd's house when he passed by Medina on his way to Sham. Umaiya said to Sad, "Will you wait till midday when the people are (at their homes), then you may go and perform the Tawaf round the Ka'ba?" So, while Sad was going around the Ka'ba, Abu Jahl came and asked, "Who is that who is performing Tawaf?" Sad replied, "I am Sad." Abu Jahl said, "Are you circumambulating the Ka'ba safely although you have given refuge to Muhammad and his companions?" Sad said, "Yes," and they started quarreling. Umaiya said to Sad, "Don't shout at Abi-l-Hakam (i.e. Abu Jahl), for he is chief of the valley (of Mecca)." Sad then said (to Abu Jahl). 'By Allah, if you prevent me from performing the Tawaf of the Ka'ba, I will spoil your trade with Sham." Umaiya kept on saying to Sad, "Don't raise your voice." and kept on taking hold of him. Sad became furious and said, (to Umaiya), "Be away from me, for I have heard Muhammad saying that he will kill you." Umaiya said, "Will he kill me?" Sad said, "Yes." Umaiya said, "By Allah! When Muhammad says a thing, he never tells a lie." Umaiya went to his wife and said to her, "Do you know what my brother from Yathrib (i.e. Medina) has said to me?" She said, "What has he said?" He said, "He claims that he has heard Muhammad claiming that he will kill me."

She said, By Allah! Muhammad never tells a lie." So when the infidels started to proceed for Badr (Battle) and declared war (against the Muslims), his wife said to him, "Don't you remember what your brother from Yathrib told you?" Umaiya decided not to go but Abu Jahl said to him, "You are from the nobles of the valley of Mecca), so you should accompany us for a day or two." He went with them and thus Allah got him killed.

Often Allah seems to be very anxious to fulfill Muhammad's will ... as Aisha observed on some occasions. We see Muhammad announcing that he would kill Umaiya. Was it really Allah or could it be that not only Sa`d but more of Muhammad's people knew that the execution of Umaiya was Muhammad express wish which they then hastened to fulfill?

In any case, Muhammad expressed his plan to kill him and it happened.

One of many who were killed after there was some request or order by Muhammad to do so. This one is different as it happens during an offical battle and being killed on the battle field is not the same as a night time execution squad but nevertheless he seems to have been singled out and Muhammad's soldiers might have been instructed to have special attention to see to his death.

We don't know for sure, but it fits the pattern of the many other assassinations of Muhammad's personal enemies.

Ironically, the book in Bukhari out of which this hadith is taken is titled "Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions".

My Response:

First of all, I want to understand what is wrong with targeted killings? Doesn't America order their army to target specific war criminals?

Targeted killing is a common thing even in the battle field. Here is an example of target killing in which Wahshi killed the Prophet's Uncle Hamzah. 

Sahih Bukhari

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 399:

Narrated Jafar bin 'Amr bin Umaiya:

I went out with 'Ubaidullah bin 'Adi Al-Khaiyar. When we reached Hims (i.e. a town in Syria), 'Ubaidullah bin 'Adi said (to me), "Would you like to see Wahshi so that we may ask him about the killing of Hamza?" I replied, "Yes." Wahshi used to live in Hims. We enquired about him and somebody said to us, "He is that in the shade of his palace, as if he were a full water skin." So we went up to him, and when we were at a short distance from him, we greeted him and he greeted us in return. 'Ubaidullah was wearing his turban and Wahshi could not see except his eyes and feet. 'Ubaidullah 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-Is, and she delivered a boy for him at Mecca, and I looked for a wet nurse for that child. (Once) 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 said (to Wahshi), "Will you tell us (the story of) the killing of Hamza?" Wahshi replied "Yes, Hamza killed Tuaima bin 'Adi bin Al-Khaiyar at Badr (battle) so my master, Jubair bin Mut'im said to me, 'If you kill Hamza in revenge for my uncle, then you will be set free." When the people set out (for the battle of Uhud) in the year of 'Ainain ..'Ainain is a mountain near the mountain of Uhud, and between it and Uhud there is a valley.. I went out with the people for the battle. When the army aligned for the fight, Siba' came out and said, 'Is there any (Muslim) to accept my challenge to a duel?' Hamza bin 'Abdul Muttalib came out and said, 'O Siba'. O Ibn Um Anmar, the one who circumcises other ladies! Do you challenge Allah and His Apostle?' Then Hamza attacked and killed him, causing him to be non-extant like the bygone yesterday. I hid myself under a rock, and when he (i.e. Hamza) came near me, I threw my spear at him, driving it into his umbilicus so that it came out through his buttocks, causing him to die. When all the people returned to Mecca, I too returned with them. I stayed in (Mecca) till Islam spread in it (i.e. Mecca). Then I left for Taif, and when the people (of Taif) sent their messengers to Allah's Apostle, I was told that the Prophet did not harm the messengers; So I too went out with them till I reached Allah's Apostle. When he saw me, he said, 'Are you Wahshi?' I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Was it you who killed Hamza?' I replied, 'What happened is what you have been told of.' He said, 'Can you hide your face from me?' So I went out when Allah's Apostle died, and Musailamah Al-Kadhdhab appeared (claiming to be a prophet). I said, 'I will go out to Musailamah so that I may kill him, and make amends for killing Hamza. So I went out with the people (to fight Musailamah and his followers) and then famous events took place concerning that battle. Suddenly I saw a man (i.e. Musailamah) standing near a gap in a wall. He looked like an ash-colored camel and his hair was dishevelled. So I threw my spear at him, driving it into his chest in between his breasts till it passed out through his shoulders, and then an Ansari man attacked him and struck him on the head with a sword. 'Abdullah bin 'Umar said, 'A slave girl on the roof of a house said: Alas! The chief of the believers (i.e. Musailamah) has been killed by a black slave."

Even realize how the glorious Prophet Muhammad did not have Wahshi killed to avenge for the death of his uncle. 

 

Umaiya bin Khalaf was a criminal who persecuted Muslims during their stay in Mecca. He needed to pay the price for such deeds. He made the Prophet of God's mission more difficult and always harassed him. 

Lets get to know a little bit more about Umaiya bin Khalaf....

 

Taken from http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MH_LM/great_battle_of_badr.htm 

Bilal Kills Umayyah ibn Khalaf

At Muhammad's urging and inspiration, his standing in their midst and inciting them against the enemy, and his announcement that paradise belongs to the men of valor who plunge fearlessly into the ranks of the enemy, the Muslims doubled and redoubled their strength. Before entering battle, they resolved to direct their attention to the leaders and nobles of the Quraysh. They planned to seek them and to kill them first, remembering the persecution and travails they suffered at their hands in Makkah, especially the blocking of the road to God and to the holy mosque. Bilal saw Umayyah ibn Khalaf and his son on the field surrounded by a number of Muslims who had recognized him and sought to take him as captive. This Umayyah was Bilal's previous master who used to torture him by forcing him down to the ground where he placed a large rock on his chest, letting him burn under the torrid sun in order to force him to abjure Islam. Bilal survived all these travails in certainty of his faith while repeating continuously, "God is one! God is one!" When his eyes fell upon Umayyah in the field, he shouted, "Umayyah, the head of idolatry! Death to me if he escapes!" and charged furiously toward him. The Muslims surrounding Umayyah sought to prevent Bilal from reaching him. Bilal called to them at high voice: "O Helpers of God! The head of idolatry is Umayyah ibn Khalaf. Death to me if he escapes!" He charged again toward Umayyah and killed him.

Taken from http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/SM_tsn/ch2s2.html#Quraish?s%20Machination%20against%20the%20Emigrants 

Scandal-mongering and backbiting were also amongst the means of oppression that the chiefs of Makkah, in general, and Omaiyah bin Khalaf, in particular, resorted to in their overall process of evil-doing. In this regard, All? says:

"Woe to every slanderer and backbiter." [Al-Qur'an 104:1]

 

Sahih Bukhari

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 241:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:

Once the Prophet was offering prayers at the Ka'ba. Abu Jahl was sitting with some of his companions. One of them said to the others, "Who amongst you will bring the abdominal contents (intestines, etc.) of a camel of Bani so and so and put it on the back of Muhammad, when he prostrates?" The most unfortunate of them got up and brought it. He waited till the Prophet prostrated and then placed it on his back between his shoulders. I was watching but could not do any thing. I wish I had some people with me to hold out against them. They started laughing and falling on one another. Allah's Apostle was in prostration and he did not lift his head up till Fatima (Prophet's daughter) came and threw that (camel's abdominal contents) away from his back. He raised his head and said thrice, "O Allah! Punish Quraish." So it was hard for Abu Jahl and his companions when the Prophet invoked Allah against them as they had a conviction that the prayers and invocations were accepted in this city (Mecca). The Prophet said, "O Allah! Punish Abu Jahl, 'Utba bin Rabi'a, Shaiba bin Rabi'a, Al-Walid bin 'Utba, Umaiya bin Khalaf, and 'Uqba bin Al Mu'it (and he mentioned the seventh whose name I cannot recall). By Allah in Whose Hands my life is,  I saw the dead bodies of those persons who were counted by Allah's Apostle in the Qalib (one of the wells) of Badr.

See also (Volume 1, Book 9, Number 499, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 409)

 Sahih Bukhari

Volume 3, Book 30, Number 113:

Narrated 'Aisha:

When Allah's Apostle reached Medina, Abu Bakr and Bilal became ill. When Abu Bakr's fever got worse, he would recite (this poetic verse): "Everybody is staying alive with his People, yet Death is nearer to him than His shoe laces." And Bilal, when his fever deserted him, would recite: "Would that I could stay overnight in A valley wherein I would be Surrounded by Idhkhir and Jalil (kinds of good-smelling grass). Would that one day I could Drink the water of the Majanna, and Would that (The two mountains) Shama and Tafil would appear to me!" The Prophet said, "O Allah! Curse Shaiba bin Rabi'a and 'Utba bin Rabi'a and Umaiya bin Khalaf as they turned us out of our land to the land of epidemics." Allah's Apostle then said, "O Allah! Make us love Medina as we love Mecca or even more than that. O Allah! Give blessings in our Sa and our Mudd (measures symbolizing food) and make the climate of Medina suitable for us, and divert its fever towards Aljuhfa." Aisha added: When we reached Medina, it was the most unhealthy of Allah's lands, and the valley of Bathan (the valley of Medina) used to flow with impure colored water.

 

So here we have a man that was a torturer of the Muslims. An abuser and ridiculer of a Prophet of God and he made the Prophet's mission much more difficult than it already was. He was standing in the way of God's message to be sent. He is a criminal in the sight of God and deserved to die. 

Ironically even after Umaiya bin Khalaf knew that the Prophet was wanting for him to be killed, he still continued to go to the battlefield. Why did he go?

 Sahih Bukhari

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 286:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:

From Sad bin Mu'adh: Sad bin Mu'adh was an intimate friend of Umaiya bin Khalaf and whenever Umaiya passed through Medina, he used to stay with Sad, and whenever Sad went to Mecca, he used to stay with Umaiya. When Allah's Apostle arrived at Medina, Sa'd went to perform 'Umra and stayed at Umaiya's home in Mecca. He said to Umaiya, "Tell me of a time when (the Mosque) is empty so that I may be able to perform Tawaf around the Ka'ba." So Umaiya went with him about midday. Abu Jahl met them and said, "O Abu Safwan! Who is this man accompanying you?" He said, "He is Sad." Abu Jahl addressed Sad saying, "I see you wandering about safely in Mecca inspite of the fact that you have given shelter to the people who have changed their religion (i.e. became Muslims) and have claimed that you will help them and support them. By Allah, if you were not in the company of Abu Safwan, you would not be able to go your family safely." Sad, raising his voice, said to him, "By Allah, if you should stop me from doing this (i.e. performing Tawaf) I would certainly prevent you from something which is more valuable for you, that is, your passage through Medina." On this, Umaiya said to him, "O Sad do not raise your voice before Abu-l-Hakam, the chief of the people of the Valley (of Mecca)." Sad said, "O Umaiya, stop that! By Allah, I have heard Allah's Apostle predicting that the Muslim will kill you." Umaiya asked, "In Mecca?" Sad said, "I do not know." Umaiya was greatly scared by that news.

When Umaiya returned to his family, he said to his wife, "O Um Safwan! Don't you know what Sad told me? "She said, "What has he told you?" He replied, "He claims that Muhammad has informed them (i.e. companions that they will kill me. I asked him, 'In Mecca?' He replied, 'I do not know." Then Umaiya added, "By Allah, I will never go out of Mecca." But when the day of (the Ghazwa of) Badr came, Abu Jahl called the people to war, saying, "Go and protect your caravan." But Umaiya disliked to go out (of Mecca). Abu Jahl came to him and said, "O Abu Safwan! If the people see you staying behind though you are the chief of the people of the Valley, then they will remain behind with you." Abu Jahl kept on urging him to go until he (i.e. Umaiya) said, "As you have forced me to change my mind, by Allah, I will buy the best camel in Mecca. Then Umaiya said (to his wife). "O Um Safwan, prepare what I need (for the journey)." She said to him, "O Abu Safwan! Have you forgotten what your Yathribi brother told you?" He said, "No, but I do not want to go with them but for a short distance." So when Umaiya went out, he used to tie his camel wherever he camped. He kept on doing that till Allah caused him to be killed at Badr.

Sahih Muslim

Book 019, Number 4394:

It has been narrated on the authority of Anas that when (the news of) the advance of Abu Sufyan (at the head of a force) reached him. the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) held consultations with his Companions. The narrator said: Abu Bakr spoke (expressing his own views), but he (the Holy Prophet) did not pay heed to him. Then spoke 'Umar (expressing his views), but he (the Holy Prophet) did not pay heed to him (too). Then Sa'd b. 'Ubada stood up and said: Messenger of Allah, you want us (to speak). By God in Whose control is my life, if you order us to plunge our horses into the sea, we would do so. If you order us to goad our horses to the most distant place like Bark al-Ghimad, we would do so. The narrator said: Now the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) called upon the people (for the encounter). So they set out and encamped at Badr. (Soon) the water-carriers of the Quraish arrived. Among them was a black slave belonging to Banu al-Hajjaj. The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) caught him and interrogated him about Abu Sufyan and his companions. He said: I know nothing about Abu Sufyan, but Abu Jahl, Utba, Shaiba and Umayya b. Khalaf are there. When he said this, they beat him. Then he said: All right, I will tell you about Abu Sufyan. They would stop beating him and then ask him (again) about Abu Sufyan. He would again say', I know nothing about Abu Sufyan, but Abu Jahl. 'Utba, Shaiba and Umayya b. Khalaf are there. When he said this, they beat him likewise. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was standing in prayer. When he saw this he finished his prayer and said: By Allah in Whose control is my life, you beat him when he is telling you the truth, and you let him go when he tells you a lie. The narrator said: Then the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: This is the place where so and so would be killed. He placed his hand on the earth (saying) here and here; (and) none of them fell away from the place which the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had indicated by placing his hand on the earth.

 

Umaiya bin Khalaf continued not only for a short distance but he went and continued on his way to the Battlefield in order to fight the Muslims. Now who could go and possibly say that his killing is not justifiable?

 

 

  Recommended Reading:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/no_personal_revenge.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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