Section One – A Brief Biography of the Eminent Sahabi ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Discussion Two – The Fitnah that broke out between the Sahabah
February 26, 2021
Shattering the Mirage: A Response to ‘Abdul Hussain Sharaf al Din’s al Muraja’at: Letter 69 and 70
March 4, 2021

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Section One

A Brief Biography of the Eminent Sahabi ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu


  • Name & Lineage
  • Agnomen
  • Upbringing
  • Family
  • Islam
  • External and Internal Characteristics
  • Virtues
  • Actions
  • Jihad
  • Worship
  • Ahadith
  • Eloquence, Poetry, Words of Wisdom, and Parables
  • Business & Inheritance
  • Demise


~ He is the Companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before everything else. He is the experienced and wise leader, one of the smart and astute Arabs, the conqueror and governor of Egypt. He is Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu ~


Name & Lineage

He is ‘Amr ibn al ‘As ibn Wa’il ibn Hashim ibn Su’ayd[1] ibn Sahm[2] ibn ‘Amr ibn Husays ibn Ka’b ibn Lu’ayy al Qurashi al Sahmi.[3]



Abu ‘Abdullah, and it is said: Abu Muhammad.



Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was born in Makkah, a Qurashi from the Banu Sahm. It has passed that the Banu Sahm assumed responsibility of significant community duties like leadership of the court (judging between disputes and cases) and stoned wealth and that they would compete with the Banu ‘Abd Manaf. This indicates to the tribe’s status and domination in Makkah. Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu grew up and thrived among a community which enjoyed status and authority. A tribe which enjoys authority and position leaves effects on their individuals. What if the father is the same, one who enjoys leadership and position? His father was among the renowned figures and leaders in the period of ignorance. This lofty station was a strong cause to develop this unique individual. What if this is supplemented with learning knighthood? He was one of the knights and heroes. Add to this his eloquence, expressiveness, and cleverness―qualities bestowed upon him. The man’s personality and prestige is perfect with his affluence and his independence of the wealth of others. His father was so affluent that he would wear garments of silk brocade as appears in Sahih al Bukhari. Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not suffice on his father’s legacy, however, instead he travelled for business. A profusion of wealth awards the possessor with independence of his self and view. Hence, he does not flatter anyone, avaricious for his generosity and does not hesitate to confront him, out of fear of the cessation of his benevolences.

These factors made Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu distinctive from everyone else and granted him prominence in the pre-Islam and post-Islam community. During ignorance, he would be sent as an ambassador to the Kings and Emperors. The Quraysh sent him to the King of Abyssinia to speak to him concerning those Muslims who emigrated there. Only a man of lofty status is chosen for such mammoth tasks. If we look at Islam, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appoints him as army general of the expedition of Dhat al Salasil despite the presence of Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and despatches him to the King of Oman to deliver his invitation. He then assumes positions of leadership from the Khalifas. You should ponder over Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu comment he made after observing Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu walking:


لا ينبغي لأبي عبد الله أن يمشي في الأرض إلا أميرا

It is not appropriate for Abu ‘Abdullah to walk on earth except as a commander.[4]



‘As (or al ‘Asi)[5] ibn Wa’il. ‘As was one of the significant leaders in the period of ignorance and the commander of the Banu Sahm in the Second Fujjar War. Owing to him, the Fudul Confederacy was contracted. Zubair ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib invited him to it for refusing to return the belongings of al Zabidi. Consequently, Hashim, Zuhrah, and Taym ibn Murrah gathered at the house of ‘Abdullah ibn Jad’an and came to a mutual agreement and pledged that they will unite as one force with the oppressed against the oppressor until the former’s right is returned. Then they went to ‘As ibn Wa’il and snatched the commodity of al Zabidi and returned the same to its rightful owner.

He was among the affluent. He would wear a hibarah[6] garment and throbes embroidered with silk. He would wear a qaba’ of silk brocade.[7] He lived till the advent of Islam but remained obstinate upon shirk until his death. He is reckoned among the first to contest the invitation of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and one of his most violent enemies. Notwithstanding this, he had a few fair stances with his opposition. He is the one to face up to the Quraysh when they nearly killed Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu after he publicly announced his Islam in their midst.[8]

Ibn Ishaq reports:


حدثني نافع عن ابن عمر قال لما أسلم عمر بن الخطاب قال أي أهل مكة أنقل للحديث قالوا جميل بن معمر الجمحي فخرج عمر و خرجت وراء أبي و أنا غلام أعقل كلما رأيت حتى أتاه فقال يا جميل هل علمت أني أسلمت فوالله ما راجعه الكلام حتى قام يجر رداءه و خرج عمر معه و أنا مع أبي حتى إذا قام على باب المسجد (الكعبة) صرخ بأعلى صوته يا معشر قريش إن عمر قد صبا فقال عمر كذبت و لكني أسلمت فبادروه فقاتلهم و قاتلوه حتى قامت الشمس على رؤوسهم و بلح فجلس و عرشوا على رأسه قياما وهو يقول اصنعوا ما بدا لكم فأقسم بالله لو كنا ثلاثمائة رجل لقد تركتموها لنا أو تركناها لكم فبينا هم على ذلك إذ أقبل شيخ من قريش عليه حلة حبره و قميص قومسي فقال مه فقالوا خيرا عمر بن الخطاب صبا فقال فمه رجل اختار لنفسه دينا أترون بني عدي بن كعب يسلمون لكم صاحبهم هكذا عن الرجل فوالله لكأنما كان ثوب كشف عنه فلما قدمنا المدينة قلت يا أبه من الرجل صاحب الحلة الذي صرف القوم عنك قال ذاك العاص بن وائل السهمي

Nafi’ narrated to me―from Ibn ‘Umar who recollects:

When ‘Umar ibn al Khattab embraced Islam, he enquired, “Which of the residents of Makkah carries tales the fastest?”

“Jamil ibn Ma’mar al Jumahi,” they said.

‘Umar, thus, left and I went behind my father. I was a young boy and understood what I saw.

‘Umar approached him and said, “O Jamil, are you aware that I have embraced Islam?”

By Allah, he did not even respond to him and jumped up, hastening and dragging his shawl. ‘Umar left with him and I was with my father. As soon as he stood at the door of the Masjid (al Ka’bah), he screamed at the top of his voice, “O gathering of Quraysh, ‘Umar has renounced his religion!”

‘Umar interrupted, “You are lying. Instead, I have embraced Islam.”

They rushed at him and he began fighting them. They beat him until the sun rose above their heads. He stopped out of exhaustion[9] and sat down, and they stood towering above him. He began saying, “Do as you please! I swear by Allah, had we been three hundred strong, you would have vacated the city for us or we would have vacated it for you.”

While they were in this commotion, an old man of Quraysh approached wearing a hibarah garment and a Qawmasi throbe. He asked, “What is going on?”

“Goodness,” they replied, “Umar ibn al Khattab has turned renegade.”

“So what,” he retorted, “a man has chosen a religion for himself. Do you feel that Banu ‘Adi ibn Ka’b will hand their man over to you? Get away from the man.”

By Allah, it was as if a garment had been taken off him [as they dispersed]. When we arrived in Madinah, I asked, “O beloved father, who was the man in the garment who turned the people away from you?”

“That was ‘As ibn Wa’il al Sahmi,” he explained.[10]


It is regarding him that Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement was revealed:


أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِيْ كَفَرَ بِآيَاتِنَا وَقَالَ لَأُوْتَيَنَّ مَالًا وَوَلَدًا

Then, have you seen he who disbelieved in Our verses and said, “I will surely be given wealth and children [in the next life]?”[11]


فعن خباب قال كنت قينا بمكة فعملت للعاصي بن وائل السهمي سيفا فجئت أتقاضاه فقال لا أعطيك حتى تكفر بمحمد قلت لا أكفر بمحمد صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى يميتك الله ثم يحييك قال إذا أماتني الله ثم بعثني و لي مال و ولد فأنزل الله أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِيْ كَفَرَ بِآيَاتِنَا وَقَالَ لَأُوْتَيَنَّ مَالًا وَوَلَدًا أَطَّلَعَ الْغَيْبَ أَمِ اتَّخَذَ عِنْدَ الرَّحْمٰنِ عَهْدًا

Khabbab reports:

I worked as a blacksmith in Makkah. I had designed a sword for ‘As ibn Wa’il al Sahmi. I later approached him to demand my due, to which he retorted, “I will not give you until you belie Muhammad.”

“I will never disbelieve in Muhammad even after Allah gives you death and then life again,” shouted I.

He said, “When Allah gives me death and then resurrects me and I have wealth and children.”

Upon this, Allah revealed: Then, have you seen he who disbelieved in Our verses and said, “I will surely be given wealth and children [in the next life]?” Has he looked into the unseen or has he taken from the Most Merciful a promise?[12]


He was from the main mockers of our Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, the following incident is related about his death:


أنه لما نزل قوله تعالى إِنَّا كَفَيْنَاكَ الْمُسْتَهْزِئِينَ أرسل الله عز و جل جبريل عليه السلام لينتقم ممن تطاول على النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و كان منهم العاص بن وائل فلما مر به العاصي بن وائل فأشار إلى أخمص رجله فركب إلى الطائف على حمار فريض به على شبرقة فدخلت في أخمص رجله شوكة فقتلته

After Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement was revealed: Indeed, we are sufficient for you against the mockers,[13] Allah―the Mighty and Majestic―sent Jibril ‘alayh al Salam to take revenge from those who attacked the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. ‘As ibn Wa’il was one of them. When ‘As ibn Wa’il walked by him, Jibril pointed to the hollow of his foot. Subsequent to this, ‘As journeyed to Ta’if on a donkey. He was dropped on a shabraqah (ononis), and a thorn pierced the hollow of his foot and claimed his life.[14]



Al Nabighah[15] from the Banu Jallan ibn ‘Anazah ibn Asad[16] ibn Rabi’ah ibn Nazar.[17] She is al Nabighah bint Huraymalah[18]. It is said: bint Khuzaimah. It is said: Salma bint al Nabighah, a slave girl from ‘Anazah.[19]


Agnate Siblings

Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu has an agnate brother, viz. Hisham ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. His mother is Harmalah bint Hisham ibn al Mughirah and Abu Jahl is his maternal uncle. Hisham radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted Islam in the early days and emigrated to Abyssinia in the second round. He then returned to Makkah to emigrate to Madinah. He had planned with Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu that they will travel to Madinah together. He said to him, “Wait for me at the marsh of the Banu Ghifar.” Before he could depart, his father seized him and shackled him. He remained shackled in Makkah until his father ‘As ibn Wa’il died at the end of the first year of hijrah. His tribe then kept him shackled after the demise of his father, and he continued attempting to escape until he finally did. He arrived by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after the Battle of Khandaq. He was among the best Muslims. He had the agnomen Abu al ‘As. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave him the agnomen Abu al Muti’. He was younger than his brother, Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hisham radiya Llahu ‘anhu left with the detachments Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu despatched to Sham. He was martyred in the Battle of Ajnadayn[20] according to al Kalbi and at Yarmuk according to al Waqidi. Hisham ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu had no offspring.[21]


أخبرنا علي بن عبد الله بن جعفر قال قال سفيان بن عيينة قالوا لعمرو بن العاص أنت خير أم أخوك هشام بن العاص قال أخبركم عني و عنه عرضنا أنفسنا على الله فقبله و تركني قال سفيان و قتل في بعض تلك المشاهد اليرموك أو غيره

‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar informed us saying―Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah said:

They asked ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, “Are you greater or your brother Hisham ibn al ‘As?”

He replied, “Let me tell you about me and him. We presented ourselves to Allah. Allah accepted him and left me.”

Sufyan continues, “He was martyred in one of those battle, either Yarmuk or another battle.”[22]


The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has testified to his iman and his brother’s iman. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared:


ابنا العاص مؤمنان عمرو و هشام

The sons of al ‘As, viz. ‘Amr and Hisham, and believers.[23]


Uterine Siblings

  1. ‘Urwah[24] ibn Abi Uthathah ibn ‘Abdul ‘Uzza ibn Hirthan ibn ‘Awf ibn ‘Ubaid ibn ‘Uwayj ibn ‘Adi. He is among the emigrants to Abyssinia.

Ibn ‘Abdul Barr elucidates, “‘Urwah accepted Islam in the early stages of Makkah. Ibn Ishaq has not listed him among those who emigrated to the land of Abyssinia. Musa ibn ‘Uqbah and Abu Ma’shar al Waqidi have, however, listed him.”[25]


  1. ‘Uqbah ibn Nafi’ ibn ‘Abd Qais ibn Laqit from the Banu al Harith ibn Fihr. His father is Nafi’. He is mentioned in al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, for he was in the group who assaulted Sayyidina Zainab radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the daughter of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Al Baladhuri says:


فاعترضها رجال من قريش بذي طوى فبدر إليها هبار بن الأسود بن المطلب بن أسد بن عبد العزى و نافع بن عبد قيس بن لقيط بن عامر الفهري و هو أبو عقبة بن نافع صاحب المغرب

Few men of Quraysh intercepted her at Dhu Tuwa. Habbar ibn al Aswad ibn al Muttalib ibn Asad ibn ‘Abdul ‘Uzza and Nafi’ ibn ‘Abd Qais ibn Laqit ibn ‘Amir al Fihri rushed at her. Nafi’ is the father of ‘Uqbah ibn Nafi’, the man of the West.[26]

It is reported that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam permitted his blood at the Conquest of Makkah.

Ibn Ishaq reports:


حدثني يزيد بن أبي حبيب عن بكير بن عبد الله بن الأشج عن سليمان بن يسار عن أبي إسحاق الدوسي عن أبي هريرة قال بعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم سرية أنا فيها فقال لنا إن ظفرتم بهبار بن الأسود أو الرجل الآخر الذي سبق معه إلى زينب قال ابن هشام و قد سمى ابن إسحاق الرجل في حديثه و قال هو نافع بن عبد قيس فحرقوهما بالنار قال فلما كان الغد بعث إلينا فقال إن كنت أمرتكم بتحريق هذين الرجلين إن أخذتموهما ثم رأيت أنه لا ينبغي لأحد أن يعذب بالنار إلا الله فإن ظفرتم بهما فاقتلوهما

Yazid ibn Abi Habib narrated to me―from Bukayr ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Ashajj―from Sulaiman ibn Yasar―from Abu Ishaq al Dawsi―from Abu Hurairah who reports:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent an expedition in which I was included. He instructed, “If you capture Habbar ibn al Aswad or the other man who rushed at Zainab―Ibn Hisham clarifies: Ibn Ishaq named the man in his report and said: He is Nafi’ ibn ‘Abd Qais ―then burn them.”

The following day, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam summoned us and stated, “I had commanded you to burn these two men if you capture them. I then realised that it is not befitting for anyone to punish with fire except Allah. So if you apprehend them, kill them.”[27]


Ibn Kathir says:


تفرد به ابن إسحاق وهو على شرط السنن و لم يخرجوه و قال البخاري حدثنا قتيبة حدثنا الليث عن بكير عن سليمان بن يسار عن أبي هريرة أنه قال بعثنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في بعث فقال إن وجدتم فلانا و فلانا فأحرقوهما بالنار ثم قال حين أردنا الخروج إني أمرتكم أن تحرقوا فلانا و فلانا و إن النار لا يعذب بها إلا الله فإن وجدتموهما فاقتلوهما

Ibn Ishaq is the only narrator of the report. The report meets the standards of the Sunan, but none of the authors have documented it.

Al Bukhari relates―Qutaybah narrated to us―al Layth narrated to us―from Bukayr―from Sulaiman ibn Yasar―from Abu Hurairah who relates:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent us on an expedition with the command, “If you find so and so and so and so, then burn them.”

As we intended to leave, he instructed, “I had commanded you to burn so and so and so and so. However, only Allah may punish with fire. So if you find them, kill them.”[28]


  1. Arnab bint ‘Afif ibn Abi al ‘As ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abd Shams.[29] Qais ibn ‘Amr ibn al Mu’ammal married her.[30]


These are the three uterine siblings of Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu.



  1. Raytah bint Munabbih ibn al Hajjaj ibn ‘Amir ibn Hudhayfah ibn Sa’d ibn Sahm. Her mother is Zainab bint Wa’il ibn Hisham ibn Sa’id ibn Sahm. Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu married her in his adolescence. She gave birth to his son ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is reported that she embraced Islam on the Day of the Conquest and pledged allegiance to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhuma reports:


لما كان يوم الفتح أسلمت ريطة بنت منبه بن الحجاج و هي أم عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص و أتت رسول الله فبايعته

On the Day of the Conquest, Raytah bint Munabbih ibn al Hajjaj embraced Islam. She is the mother of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As. She then came to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and pledged allegiance to him.


It is reported that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke in glowing terms about her and her household:


نعم أهل البيت عبد الله و أم عبد الله

What a wonderful household: ‘Abdullah and his mother.[31]

She has no narrations to her name.


  1. Umm Kulthum bint ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt ibn Abi ‘Amr ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abd Shams ibn ‘Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy. Her brothers are Walid ibn ‘Uqbah and ‘Ammarah ibn ‘Uqbah. She is the uterine sister of Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. She embraced Islam and pledged allegiance in Makkah prior to the hijrah. She is the first woman to emigrate after Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emigration to Madinah.[32]

Ibn Ishaq states:


و هاجرت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أم كلثوم ابنة عقبة بن أبي معيط في هدنة الحديبية فخرج أخواها عمارة و الوليد ابنا عقبة حتى قدما على رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يسألانه أن يردها عليهما بالعهد الذي كان بينه و بين قريش في الحديبية فلم يفعل و قال أبى الله ذلك

Umm Kulthum bint ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt emigrated to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam after the truce of Hudaybiyyah. Her brothers ‘Ammarah and Walid, sons of ‘Uqbah, left and arrived by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to demand her return to them in accordance with the treaty concluded between him and Quraysh at Hudaybiyyah. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam refused and declared: Allah rejects this.[33]


The following verse was revealed concerning her:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا إِذَا جَاءَكُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ مُهَاجِرَاتٍ فَامْتَحِنُوْهُنَّ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِإِيْمَانِهِنَّ

O you who have believed, when the believing women come to you as emigrants, examine them. Allah is most knowing as to their faith.[34]


Ibn ‘Abdul Barr says:

يقولون إنها مشت على قدميها من مكة إلى المدينة فلما قدمت المدينة تزوجها زيد بن حارثة فقتل عنها يوم مؤتة فتزوجها الزبير بن العوام فولدت له زينب ثم طلقها فتزوجها عبد الرحمن بن عوف فولدت له إبراهيم و حميدا و منهم من يقول إنها ولدت لعبد الرحمن إبراهيم و حميدا و محمدا و إسماعيل و مات عنها فتزوجها عمرو بن العاص فمكثت عنده شهرا و ماتت هي أخت عثمان بن عفان لأمه

The historians say that she walked from Makkah to Madinah. After reaching Madinah, Zaid ibn Harithah married her. He was martyred on the Day of Mu’tah. Subsequent to this, Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam married her and she bore him Zainab. He then divorced her and ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf married her and she mothered Ibrahim and Humaid for him. Some of the historians say that she gave birth to 4 sons of ‘Abdur Rahman, viz. Ibrahim, Humaid, Muhammad, and Ismail. He died, after which ‘Amr ibn al ‘As married her. She passed away a month later. She is ‘Uthman’s uterine sister.”[35]


  1. Muhammad ibn Habib al Baghdadi mentions that ‘Amr married ‘Atikah bint Zaid ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl al Qurashiyyah.[36]

It is said: ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr proposed to her but she declined both of them.[37]



  1. ‘Abdullah

‘Abdullah―one of the forerunners―was born to ‘Amr when he was twelve years of age. He embraced Islam before his father. He was a fadil (man of culture and refinement), a hafiz, and an ‘alim (scholar) who recited the Qur’an. He is one of the prolific narrators of hadith among the Sahabah and one of the ‘Abdullahs who are jurists. His mother is Raytah bint Munabbih ibn al Hajjaj al Sahmi.[38]

Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had the following offspring: Muhammad―with whom is his agnomen and his mother is Bint Mahmiyyah ibn Jaz’ al Zabidi; Hisham, Hashim, ‘Imran, Umm Iyas, Umm ‘Abdullah, and Umm Sa’id―their mother is Umm Hashim al Kindiyyah from the Banu Wahb ibn al Harith.[39]

Ibn Hazm says:


لعبد الله بالوهط و مكة عقب كثير يناهزون المائة منهم كان المحدث عمرو و أخواه عمر و شعيب بنو شعيب بن محمد بن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاصي و أختهم عابدة أمها عمرة بنت عبد الله بن العباس بن عبد المطلب و كان زوجها الحسين بن عبد الله بن عبيد الله بن العباس و بسببها ردت أموال عمرو بن العاصي بعد أن قبضها بنو العباس

‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu had many descendants in Waht[40] and Makkah, close to hundred in number. Among them is the muhaddith ‘Amr and his brothers ‘Umar and Shu’ayb, the sons of Shu’ayb ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and their sister ‘Abidah, her mother is ‘Amrah bint ‘Abdullah ibn al ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib. Her husband was Hussain ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ubaidullah ibn al ‘Abbas. Owing to her, the Banu al ‘Abbas returned the wealth of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As after they had seized it.[41]


  1. Muhammad

Ibn Hajar says: Al ‘Adawi mentioned in al Ansab that Muhammad accompanied Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when he was young. Ibn Sa’d adds, “His mother is Balawiyyah.” Ibn al Barqi clarifies, “Her name is Khawlah bint Hamzah ibn al Salil.”[42] Muhammad had no issue.[43]



There are various views regarding the year in which Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu embraced Islam. Between Hudaybiyyah and Khaybar is one view which is not correct. The accurate view is the one held by al Waqidi and others that he entered the faith in the 8th year. He, Sayyidina Khalid ibn al Walid, and Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn Talhah radiya Llahu ‘anhum arrived in Madinah as believers. As they entered the presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he gazed at them and remarked:


قد رمتكم مكة بأفلاذ كبدها

Makkah has thrown you its hidden treasures.[44]

Al Tabari informs us:


كان سبب إسلام عمرو بن العاص ما حدثنا ابن حميد قال حدثنا سلمة عن ابن إسحاق عن يزيد بن أبي حبيب عن راشد مولى بن أبي أوس عن حبيب بن أبي أوس قال حدثني عمرو بن العاص من فيه إلى أذني قال لما انصرفنا مع الأحزاب عن الخندق جمعت رجالا من قريش كانوا يرون بأيي و يسمعون مني فقلت لهم تعلمون والله أني لأرى أمرمحمد يعلو الأمور علوا منكرا و إني قد رأيت رأيا فما ترون فيه قالوا و ماذا رأيت قلت رأيت أن نلحق بالنجاشي فنكون عنده فإن ظهر محمد على قومنا كنا عند النجاشي فلأن نكون تحت يديه أحب إلينا من أن نكون تحت يدي محمد وإن ظهر قومنا فنحن من قد عرفوا فلن يأتينا منهم إلا خير قالوا إن هذا لرأي  قلت فاجمعوا لنا ما نهدي له وكان أحب ما يهدى إليه من أرضنا الأدم فجمعنا له أدما كثيرا ثم خرجنا حتى قدمنا عليه فوالله إنا لعنده إذ جاءه عمرو بن أمية الضمري وكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد بعثه إليه في شأن جعفر وأصحابه قال فدخل عليه ثم خرج من عنده قال فقلت لأصحابي هذا عمرو بن أمية لو قد دخلت على النجاشي فسألته إياه فأعطانيه فضربت عنقه فإذا فعلت ذلك رأت قريش أني قد أجزأت عنها حين قتلت رسول محمد قال فدخلت عليه فسجدت له كما كنت أصنع فقال مرحبا بصديقي هل أهديت لي من بلادك شيئا قال قلت نعم أيها الملك قد أهديت لك أدما كثيرا قال ثم قربته إليه فأعجبه واشتهاه ثم قلت له أيها الملك إني قد رأيت رجلا خرج من عندك وهو رسول رجل عدو لنا فأعطنيه لأقتله فإنه قد أصاب من أشرافنا وخيارنا قال فغضب ثم مد يده فضرب بها أنفه ضربة ظننت أنه قد كسره فلو انشقت الأرض لدخلت فيها فرقا منه ثم قلت له أيها الملك والله لو ظننت أنك تكره هذا ما سألتكه قال أتسألني أن أعطيك رسول رجل يأتيه الناموس الأكبر الذي كان يأتي موسى لتقتله قال قلت أيها الملك أكذاك هو قال ويحك يا عمرو أطعني واتبعه فإنه والله لعلى الحق وليظهرن على من خالفه كما ظهر موسى على فرعون وجنوده قال قلت أفتبايعني له على الإسلام قال نعم فبسط يده فبايعته على الإسلام ثم خرجت على أصحابي وقد حال رأيي عما كان عليه وكتمت أصحابي إسلامي ثم خرجت عامدا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لأسلم فلقيت خالد بن الوليد وذلك قبيل الفتح وهو مقبل من مكة فقلت أين أبا سليمان فقال والله لقد استقام المنسم وإن الرجل لنبي أذهب والله فأسلم فحتى متى قال قلت والله ما جئت إلا لأسلم قال فقدمنا المدينة على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فتقدم خالد بن الوليد فأسلم وبايع ثم دنوت فقلت يا رسول الله إني أبايعك على أن تغفر لي ما تقدم من ذنبي ولا أذكر ما تأخر قال فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يا عمرو بايع فإن الإسلام يجب ما كان قبله وإن الهجرة تجب ما كان قبلها قال فبايعته ثم انصرفت

The reason prompting Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As to embrace Islam is what Ibn Humaid has narrated to us saying―Salamah narrated to us―from Ibn Ishaq―from Yazid ibn Abi Habib―from Rashid mawla ibn Abi Aws―from Habib ibn Abi Aws who said: ‘Amr ibn al ‘As narrated to me from his mouth to my ear:

When we returned with the confederates from the Trench, I gathered few men from Quraysh―who valued my view and listened to me―and said to them, “You realise, by Allah, that I feel that Muhammad’s affair will rise above all other affairs in a nasty way. I have a view, let me know what you feel about it.”

They said, “What is your view?”

I said, “I feel we should join up with Najashi and stay by him. If Muhammad is victorious over our nation, we will be safe by Najashi. Being under his authority is more beloved to us than being under the authority of Muhammad. And if our people are victorious, then we are those who are recognised, so it will bring us nothing but goodness.”

They said, “This is a beautiful plan.”

I said, “Collect for him gifts we can favour him with.” The most prized gift to him of our land was leather. We, thus, collected a good amount of leather. We then left and reached his land. By Allah, we were by him when ‘Amr ibn Umayyah al Damuri came to him. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had sent ‘Amr to him concerning Jafar ibn Abi Talib and his companions. He entered upon Najashi and then left his court after a while.

I told my cronies, “This is ‘Amr ibn Umayyah al Damuri. If only I go to Najashi and ask him for this man, and he hands him over to me and I behead him―If I am able to accomplish this, the Quraysh would feel that I have covered up by killing Muhammad’s envoy.”

So saying, I entered his presence and prostrated before him as was my practice. He said, “Welcome to my friend. Have you brought any gifts from your land for me?”

“Yes, O king,” I replied, “I have brought for you plenty of leather.” I then presented the same to him and it really impressed him and satisfied his passion.

I said to him, “O king! I saw a man leaving your presence just now. He is the envoy of a man who is our enemy. Hand him over to me so that I may kill him as he has claimed the lives of our noblemen.”

Hearing this, Najashi reddened with wrath and fury. He lifted his hand and struck my nose so fiercely that I thought he broke it. Had the earth split for me, I would have entered it to be safe from his wrath. I blurted, “By Allah, O king, had I known that you would dislike this, I would not have asked you such.”

He said, “Do you ask me to hand over to you the envoy of a man to whom the great angel attends, who would visit Musa, so that you may kill him?”

“O king, is he like that?” I asked in amazement.

“Woe to you, O ‘Amr” he snapped, “obey me and follow him for by Allah he is on the truth and he will most definitely vanquish those who oppose him just as Musa vanquished Firoun and his armies.”

I said, “Will you accept my allegiance to him upon Islam?”

He replied in the affirmative and stretched out his hand. I, thus, pledged allegiance to him upon Islam. I left to my companions and my view had changed, but I concealed my Islam from my friends. Subsequent to this, I departed towards Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to embrace Islam. I met Khalid ibn al Walid en route while he was leaving Makkah, and this was before the Conquest.

“Where are you off to, O Abu Sulaiman?” I enquired.

He announced, “By Allah, the path has become clear[45] and the man is definitely a Nabi. By Allah, I am going to embrace Islam. Otherwise, until when will I wait?”

I said, “By Allah, I only came to enter the faith.”

We arrived by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Khalid ibn al Walid stepped forward, embraced Islam, and pledged allegiance. I then drew close and submitted, “O Messenger of Allah, I pledge allegiance to you on condition that you forgive me my past sins and I do not speak about what has passed.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained, “O ‘Amr, pledge allegiance for Islam wipes out everything before it, and hijrah wipes out everything before it.”

I, thus, pledged allegiance and left.[46]


External and Internal Characteristics

Ibn ‘Abdul Hakam says:


و كانت صفة عمرو بن العاص كما حدثنا سعيد بن عفير عن الليث بن سعد قصيرا عظيم الهامة ناتئ الجبهة واسع الفم عظيم اللحية عريض ما بين المنكبين عظيم الكفين و القدمين قال قال الليث يملأ هذا المسجد

The external features of ‘Amr ibn al ‘As as narrated to us by Sa’id ibn ‘Ufayr―from Layth ibn Sa’d:

He was short, with a large crown, protruding forehead, wide mouth, large beard, broad shoulders, large palms, and large feet.

Layth said: He would fill this Masjid.[47]


Buhayr ibn Dhakhir al Mu’afiri recalls:


فقام عمرو بن العاص على المنبر فرأيت رجلا ربعة قصد القامة وافر الهامة أدعج أبلج عليه ثياب موشية كأن به العقيان تأتلق عليه حلة و عمامة و جبة

‘Amr ibn al ‘As ascended the pulpit. I saw a man proportionately built[48], short in stature, with a large forehead, deep black and large eyed, fair in complexion. Upon him were embroidered garments, flashing, as if gold were upon him. He was wearing a garment, a turban, and a jubbah.[49]


With regards to his internal qualities, Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu was from the knights and heroes of the Quraysh in the period of ignorance as well as Islam. He was celebrated for this.[50] He was one of the influential men of Quraysh in bravery, judgement, smartness, determination, efficiency, and insight in warfare; a nobleman and leader of the Arabs. He was unique with lofty qualities and superior morals. Add to this all communal categories like family, friends, and servants. I will mention some of his stances which indicate to the qualities that he had imbibed within himself:



  • During the Battle of Uhud: The Quraysh advanced with all their might and fury, together with their families and servants, and reinforced by their allies from the Banu Kinanah and the people of Tihamah. They departed on their journey seeking vengeance and determined not to flee. Among them was ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu who proceeded with Raytah bint Munabbih ibn al Hajjaj, the mother of his son ‘Abdullah. ‘Amr was a polytheist at the time.[51]
  • On the Day of Ahzab: Sayyidina Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma reports:


لقد رأيتني أحرس الخندق و خيل المشركين تطيف بالخندق و تطلب غرة و مضيقا من الخندق فتقتحم فيه و كان عمرو بن العاص و خالد بن الوليد هما اللذان يفعلان  ذلك يطلبان الغفلة من المسلمين

I remember myself safeguarding the trench while the horses of the polytheists surrounded the trench, searching for heedlessness [from the Muslims] and a narrow spot of the trench so they may leap over it. ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and Khalid ibn al Walid were the ones carrying this out, waiting for the Muslims’ inattentiveness.[52]


  • On the Day of Ahzab: After Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala humiliated the polytheists and defeated the Confederates singlehandedly, the polytheists retreated with their detachments and associates. Their commander was Abu Sufyan who feared that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam might pursue them, so he commanded ‘Amr ibn al ‘As:


يا أبا عبد الله نقيم في جريدة من الخيل بإزاء محمد و أصحابه فإنا لا نأمن أن نطلب فقال عمرو أنا أقيم و قال لخالد بن الوليد ما ترى أبا سليمان فقال أنا أيضا أقيم فأقام عمرو و خالد في مائتي فارس و سار جميع العسكر

“O Abu ‘Abdullah, we will stay with a handful of cavalry to confront Muhammad and his Companions, for we are not safe from being pursued.”

‘Amr said, “I will stay.”

Abu Sufyan said to Khalid ibn al Walid, “What do you feel, O Abu Sulaiman?”

“I will also stay,” he replied.

Thus, ‘Amr and Khalid remained behind with 200 horsemen while the rest of the army travelled.[53]


Bravery was an intrinsic quality of Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu from before Islam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had declared:


فخياركم في الجاهلية خياركم في الإسلام إذا فقهوا

The best of you in ignorance are the best of you in Islam, on condition they understand.[54]


After embracing Islam, his target in war became either assistance or martyrdom. This section of his biography is replete with incidents of bravery. Among the testimonies to this are:

  • What transpired between him and Musaylamah al Kadhab while passing the latter the day he returned from Oman to Madinah after Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:


فأقبلت حتى مررت على مسيلمة فأعطاني الأمان ثم قال إن محمدا أرسل في جسيم الأمور و أرسلت في المحقرات و قلت أعرض علي ما تقول فقال يا ضفدع نقي فإنك نعم ما تنقين لا زادا تنقرين و لا ماء تكدرين ثم قال يا وبر يا وبر إنما أنت إبراد و صدر و سائرك حفر نقر ثم أتى بأناس يختصمون إليه في نخلات قطعها بعضهم لبعض فتسجي قطيفة ثم كشف رأسه ثم قال والليل الأدهم و الذئب الأصحم ما جاء ابن أبي مسلم من محرم ثم تسجى الثانية فقال والليل الدامس و الذئب الهامس ما حرمته رطبا إلا كحرمة يابس قوموا فلا أرى عليكم في ما صنعتم بأسا قال عمرو أما والله إنك لكاذب و إنا لنعلم أنك لمن الكاذبين فتوعدني

I advanced until I passed by Musaylamah. He awarded me protection and then said, “Certainly, Muhammad was sent in major affairs while I was sent in trivial matters.”

I told him, “Present to me what you say.”

He recited, “O frog, you clean what you want to clean. Neither do you drink, nor do you disturb the mud.”

He then said, “O hyrax![55] O hyrax! You are only a fluffy coat[56] and a chest. And you are a personification of disgrace[57].”

Thereafter, some persons were brought to him who disputed over few date palms belonging to one party which the other party had cut. He covered his head with a velvet cloth. He then uncovered his head and recited, “By the deep black night and yellowish black wolf. Ibn Abi Muslim did not come from Muharram.” He then covered his head a second time and said, “By the gloomy night and the mumbling wolf, its honour while fresh is similar to its honour while dry. Stand up, I do not see any problem in what you perpetrated.”

‘Amr said, “Harken, by Allah, you are definitely a liar. We know with certainty that you are from the liars. Now you wish to threaten me?”


  • In Yarmuk: ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu said:

يا أيها المسلمون غضوا الأبصار و اجثوا على الركب و اشرعوا الرماح فإذا حملوا عليكم فأمهلوهم حتى إذا ركبوا أطراف الأسنة فثبوا إليهم وثبة الأسد فوالذي يرضى الصدق و يثيب عليه و يمقت الكذب و يجزي بالإحسان إحسانا لقد سمعت أن المسلمين سيفتحونها كفرا كفرا و قصرا قصرا فلا يهولكم جموعهم و لا عددهم فإنكم لو صدقتموهم الشد تطايروا تطاير أولاد الحجل

O Muslims, lower your gazes, kneel down, and point your arrows. When they attack you, allow them to advance. As soon as they reach the edges of the blades, pounce upon them like lions. By the Being who is pleased with truthfulness and rewards it, who despises falsehood, and who repays goodness with goodness, I have heard that the Muslims will conquer it village by village and palace by palace. Let not their crowds and numbers scare you. If you are sincere towards them in the tug of war, they will disperse like the chicks of partridges.[58]


  • A group of Romans attacked Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. His comrades dispersed yet he remained resolute. He attacked ferociously and fought the enemy for a long while, until his comrades returned.[59]
  • The Azd and Daws struck on the Day of Yarmuk and subjugated the polytheists in one subjugation. In response to this, the polytheists launched a formidable attack which caused the Muslims to scatter. At the time, the carrier of their standard was ‘Iyad ibn Ghanam al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He fled in retreat with standard in hand. The people shouted at him, “The resoluteness of the nation and the warriors are by their banners.” Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and Sayyidina Khalid ibn al Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhuma both rushed and raced to grab it. ‘Amr managed to grab hold of it first. He continued fighting with it in his hand until the Romans met defeat and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala granted victory and triumph at the hands of the Muslims.[60]

Another narration states that when Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu spotted the carrier of the flag retreating, he grabbed hold of the flag and began advancing, shouting, “O gathering of Muslims!” He began transfixing with it his position and proclaiming, “Do as I do.” When finally, he raised it, it was as if upon it were drops of rain, i.e. thick blood[61].[62]

  • Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu possessed a sword called: al Lujj. He recited the following couplets in the wars in Sham:

الفرج لمن مشى و دج

أضربهم باللج حتى يخلوا

I strike them with the Lujj until they leave;

A space for the one who walks resolute[63].[64]


Competence and Perception in War

Qualities of an experienced major commander were present in Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, including strength, bravery, insight in war, and knowledge of the sciences of battle. These qualities were apparent from his personality. Owing to this, fingers would point in his direction when appointing a leader. The following are indications towards this:

  • Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed him commander over a detachment towards Sham. He sent him towards his father’s, ‘As ibn Wa’il, maternal uncles residing in Bali. Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered Madinah in Safar 8 A.H. [as a Muslim] and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam despatched him in Jumada al Akhirah of the same year towards al Salasil of the lands of Quda’ah with a detachment of three hundred warriors, according to al Waqidi and others.[65]

Ibn Sa’d reports from ‘Abdullah ibn Buraydah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:


قال عمر لأبي بكر لما لم يدع عمرو بن العاص الناس أن يوقدوا نارا ألا ترى إلى هذا ما صنع بالناس يمنعهم منافعهم قال فقال أبو بكر دعه فإنما ولاه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم علينا لعلمه بالحرب

‘Umar said to Abu Bakr when ‘Amr ibn al ‘As did not allow the people to burn fires, “Do you not see what this man has done to the people? He prevented them from their benefits.”

Abu Bakr replied, “Let him be for indeed Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed him leader over us owing to his knowledge of warfare.”[66]


As a result, Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu declared:


ما عدل بي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و بخالد بن الوليد في حربه منذ أسلمنا أحدا من أصحابه

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not equate any of his companions with me or Khalid ibn al Walid in war since we embraced the faith.[67]


  • Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu took interest in Sham and turned his attention to it. He had returned Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu to his occupation which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had assigned to him, i.e. collecting the sadaqat of Sa’d Hudhaym, ‘Adharah, etc., prior to his departure to Oman. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had promised to assign to him his previous responsibility after his return from Oman and Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu fulfilled this promise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

When he turned his attention to Sham, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu wrote to the latter:


إني كنت قد رددتك على العمل الذي ولاك رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مرة و وعدك به أخرى إنجازا لمواعيد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و قد وليته و قد أحببت أن أفرغك لما هو خير لك في الدنيا و الآخرة إلا أن يكون الذي أنت فيه أحب إليك

I had returned you to the occupation Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had assigned to you once and promised you a second time, in order to fulfil the promises of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which I have been assigned to fulfil. I would love to free you for something far better for you in the world and the Hereafter, except if the occupation you are currently in is more beloved to you.


Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu wrote back:

إني سهم من سهام الإسلام و أنت بعد الله الرامي بها و الجامع لها فانظر أشدها و أخشاها و أفضلها فارم به

I am nothing but one of the arrows of Islam and you, after Allah, are the marksman and collector. So observe which is the strongest, the most fearsome, and the most superior target and shoot [me] towards it.


Accordingly, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu assigned to him coupled with Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah―who had been collecting the sadaqat of Quda’ah―the responsibility of mobilising the Arabs which they carried out.

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent some of the men who had gathered by him to Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and commanded him to follow a path which he had sketched out for him towards Palestine. He commanded Sayyidina Walid radiya Llahu ‘anhu to head to Jordan and assigned a portion of the warriors to him. He appointed Sayyidina Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhuma over a massive army, majority of whom were volunteers for the cause, among whom were Sayyidina Suhayl ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his kind from the residents of Makkah. He bid him farewell, while on foot, and instructed him and other leaders beside him.[68]

As soon as the Muslim armies advanced towards Sham in the reign of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Romans gained intelligence of this and wrote to Hiraql who left [the capital] and settled in Hims, preparing armies and mobilising troops to face the Muslims. He intended to keep some troops busy while others relax, due to the large number of his troops and soldiers. Towards Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he sent his true brother, Tadharuq, who set out with 90 000 men. He also sent someone to lead them until the leader of the rear guard settled in Thaniyyat Jillaq, at the top of Palestine. Jarajah ibn Tudhra was sent by him towards Sayyidina Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he camped directly in front of him. He despatched Daraqis who faced Sayyidina Shurahbil ibn Hassanah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Fiqar ibn Nastus was despatched with 60 000 men towards Sayyidina Abu ‘Ubaidah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Muslims were intimidated by these massive and impressive armies. All the Muslim troops numbered 21 000 besides Sayyidina ‘Ikrimah’s detachment which consisted of 6 000 fighters. They all hastened to write letters and send envoys to Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu asking him the way forward. He responded to them all declaring, “The idea is to unite. This is because when we are united, we will never be overpowered due to lack of numbers and when we are divided, not a man from us will remain among others prepared to meet those who we faced in battle and ready for every group among us.” They chose Yarmuk as the junction they will gather at. They had written to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu the same letter they had written to ‘Amr and his letter returned with the same advice as Sayyidina ‘Amr’s[69]. Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s and Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhuma view corresponding indicates to his bravery, astuteness, and perception of war.


NEXT⇒ A Brief Biography of the Eminent Sahabi ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu Continued

[1] Su’ayd: diminutive form. (al Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 650)

[2] One of the tribes of Quraysh. Part of the half al ahlaf with Banu ‘Abdul Dar, Banu Makhzum, Banu Jumh, and Banu ‘Adi ibn Ka’b. Their opposition is half al mutibin which comprised of Banu ‘Abd Manaf, Banu Asad ibn ‘Abdul ‘Uzza ibn Qusayy, Banu Zahrah ibn Kilab, Banu Taym ibn Murrah, and Banu al Harith ibn Fihr ibn Malik ibn al Nadr. This division was a result of the conflict between Banu ‘Abd Manaf and Banu ‘Abdul Dar about the duties of al hijabah (office of gatekeeper), al siqayah wa al rifadah (feeding and giving water to the pilgrims), al nadwah (the council), and al liwa’ (the standard).

These duties were shouldered by Qusayy. Qusayy grew old and weak. ‘Abdul Dar was his eldest son, but he was weak. ‘Abd Manaf, on the other hand, had become a chieftain in the lifetime of his father and so did his brothers ‘Abdul ‘Uzza and ‘Abd Qusayy. Qusayy told ‘Abdul Dar, “By Allah, I will most certainly unite you with them.” He, thus, awarded him dar al nadwah (the council) and al hijabah i.e. gatekeeper of the Ka’bah and al liwa’. A dispute arouse among his children after his demise. The sons of ‘Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy viz. ‘Abd Shams, Hashim, al Muttalib, and Nawfal agreed to take al rifadah wa al siqayah from the sons of ‘Abdul Dar due to their nobility and virtue over them. Quraysh, thus, split upon this. A faction joined the sons of ‘Abd Manaf while another faction sided with the sons of ‘Abdul Dar and they prepared for war. They subsequently called for a reconciliation on condition that they hand over al siqayah and al rifadah to the Banu ‘Abd Manaf and they were happy with this.

Al hijabah: the gatekeeper of the Ka’bah. No one will open its door besides him. He is responsible for cleaning it and cloaking it.

Siqayat al Hajj: They would fill ponds with water for the hujjaj and sweeten it with some dates and raisons from which people would drink when arriving by the Ka’bah.

Rifadat al Hajj: Food prepared for the hujjaj as a form of hospitality. Qusayy had stipulated upon the Quraysh a stipend which they would give from their wealth to him during the pilgrimage season. From this fund, he would prepare food for the hujjaj. Everyone who was not wealthy or had no provisions could partake from it.

Dar al Nadwah: They would consult here concerning major matters that befell them. They would get their daughters married here and the flags would be knotted here.

Al Liwa’: They would not knot any flag or standard to wage war against another tribe besides their own except at the hand of Qusayy or the hand of one of his children. (al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 1 pg. 77; al Kamil, vol. 1 pg. 155; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 243- 244; al Rahiq al Makhtum, vol. 1 pg. 17)

Sahm would vie with the sons of ‘Abd Manaf for leadership and honour. It is reported that the reason behind the revelation of “The competition in worldly increase diverts you,” was due to their competition in boasting and bragging with the Banu ‘Abd Manaf. Muqatil and al Kalbi say, “Surah al Takathur was revealed about few tribes of Quraysh, viz. Banu ‘Abd Manaf and Banu Sahm. They were close in relationship, so the leaders and honourables competed with each other, who of them had more. Banu ‘Abd Manaf proclaimed, “We have more leaders, are more honourable, and have a greater assembly.” Banu Sahm made similar proclamations. The Banu ‘Abd Manaf beat them in numbers. They then said, “We will count our dead and visit the graves.” They, thus, counted their dead and Banu Sahm beat them in number since they had larger numbers during the period of ignorance. (al Wahidi: Asbab al Nuzul, pg. 305) Similarly, they had a door in al Masjid al Haram among 23 doors. (al Azraqi: Akhbar Makkah, vol. 2 pg. 628) Al Fasi says in Shifa’ al Gharam, vol. 1 pg. 230, “It is the door of the Masjid which is now commonly known as the door of ‘Umrah. It is reported that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed facing their door.

فعن سفيان بن عيينة قال حدثني كثير بن كثير بن المطلب بن أبي وداعة سمع بعض أهله يحدث عن جده أنه رأى النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يصلي مما يلي باب بني سهم و الناس يمرون بين يديه و ليس بينه و بين الكعبة سترة

Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah says―Kathir ibn Kathir ibn al Muttalib ibn Abi Wada’ah narrated to me―he heard one of his family members narrating―from his grandfather that he saw the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praying next to the door of the Banu Sahm while people passed in front of him and there was no barrier between him and the Ka’bah. (Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 27241; Sunan Abi Dawood, Hadith: 2016)

The report is weak due to the unknown link between Kathir and his grandfather and due to the inconsistency in the isnad. (al Da’ifah, Hadith: 928)

Sahm had assumed responsibility of significant community duties in Makkah. They were in charge of the court (deciding between disputes and cases), and stone wealth. It was the duty of Harith ibn Qais ‘Adi al Sahmi. The meaning of tahjir al amwal (stone wealth) is: administering charities and vows which were gifted to the idols. (al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 29; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 24 pg. 118; al Rahiq al Makhtum, pg. 17)

Al ‘Aqqad says: They are similar to awqaf (endowments) in the Islamic times. Their leaders from the Banu Sahm were a group of managers of awqaf known for their good or evil deeds with which the managers of awqaf are characterised in all ages. (‘Amr ibn al ‘As, pg. 4)

[3] Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 22 pg. 78; al Dhahabi: al Siyar, vol. 3 pg. 54; Ibn Hajar: al Isabah, vol. 4 pg. 650.

[4] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 46 pg. 155.

[5] Ibn al Jawzi says: “The general muhaddithin read ibn al ‘As without a ya’. This is an error. What we have memorised from the linguists, the likes of Abu Muhammad ibn al Khashab, is the inclusion of the ya’.” Ibn Hajar explains, “Al ‘As is with two letters without diacritical marks [dots] (i.e. ‘ayn and sad). From al ‘awas (difficult, abstruse), not from al ‘isyan (disobedience). The sad will thus have a raf’ (u consonant at the end) whereas kasrah (i consonant at the end) is also permitted. It is said: It is from al ‘isyan (disobedience) in which case it will definitely be with a kasrah. Including the ya’ is permissible like the word al qadi.” Al ‘Ayni says, “Al ‘As with a dammah on the sad. Its origin is al ‘awas. It is permissible with a kasrah on the sad since its original form is al ‘Asi like al qadi, however the ya’ has been omitted for ease. (Kashf al Mushkil, vol. 4 pg. 109; al Fath, vol. 7 pg. 178; ‘Umdat al Qari, vol. 25 pg. 38)

[6] Hibarah: on the scale of ‘inabah. A Yemeni garment from cotton or striped flax. (al Fayumi: al Misbah al Munir, vol. 1 pg. 118)

[7] Al Qaba’: al Qurtubi explains: “A garment with narrow sleeves. The centre of the back has a slit. It is worn on journey and during war, for it supports movement.” Ibn Battal explains, “Al qaba’ is from the clothes of the non-Arabs. And al dibaj is a type of silk.” (Fath al Bari, vol. 6 pg. 576; ‘Umdat al Qari, vol. 31 pg. 448)

[8] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 3 pg. 1403; al Sam’ani: Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 2 pg. 781; Ibn al Athir: al Kamil, vol. 1 pg. 208; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 457; al Zarkali: al A’lam, vol. 3 pg. 247.

[9] Balaha: He stopped out of exhaustion and was not able to move. (Ibn Faris: Maqayis al Lughah, vol. 1 pg. 297)

[10] Ibn Ishaq: al Sirah, pg. 185.

[11] Surah Maryam: 77.

[12] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the tafsir of the Qur’an, chapter on His statement: Has he looked into the unseen or has he taken from the Most Merciful a promise, Hadith: 4456; Sahih Muslim, book on the description of Qiyamah, Jannat, and Hell, chapter on the Jews’ questioning the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about the soul and His statement: And they ask you concerning the soul, Hadith: 2795. The wording is al Bukhari’s.

[13] Surah al Hijr: 95.

[14] Ibn Ishaq: al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, pg. 273.

[15] The historians mention that a man was paid a thousand silver coins to ask Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu about his mother while he was on the pulpit. He took up the challenge and enquired about his mother. Sayyidina ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu explained, “My mother is Salma bint Harmalah, with the title al Nabighah, from the Banu ‘Anazah, then one of the individuals of the Banu Jallan. The spears of the Arabs afflicted her [i.e. she was captured] and she was sold at ‘Ukaz. Fakih ibn al Mughirah purchased her and ‘Abdullah ibn Jad’an purchased her from him. She then fell into the possession of ‘As ibn Wa’il. She gave birth to his child. If they had stipulated something for you, take it.” (Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 367; Ibn al Athir: Usd al Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 244)

[16] Usayd (Ma’rifat al Sahabah); Asad (al Isti’ab and other references).

[17] Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 1987; Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 126.

[18] Harmalah instead of Huraymalah. (Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 367)

[19] Al Mizzi: Tahdhib al Kamal, vol. 22 pg. 79.

[20] Ajnadayn: in the dual form, as if it is the dual form of Ajnad, an area of Jordan in Sham. It is said: Rather, it is a land in Palestine between Ramlah and Jayrun. (Abu ‘Ubaid al Undulusi: Mujam ma ista’jama min Asma’ al Bilad wa al Mawadi’, vol. 1 pg. 114)

[21] Al Sam’ani: Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 1 pg. 92; vol. 10 pg. 282.

[22] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 192.

[23] Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 8042; Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 191; al Hakim: al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 452. The wording is Ahmed’s. al Albani classified it sahih in Sahih al Jami’, Hadith: 45.

[24] It is said: ‘Amr ibn Abi Uthathah. It is reported as: Ibn Uthathah ibn ‘Abdul ‘Uzza al Qurashi al ‘Adawi as Ibn ‘Abdul Barr has clearly penned it. Due to the numerous narrations in determining his name, some biographers have repeated his biography in more than one place, in accordance to the various reports. As you can see, these are the diverse names of one individual.

[25] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 327.

[26] Al Sam’ani: Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 1 pg. 176; Ibn Kathir: al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 519.

[27] Ibn Hisham: al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, vol. 3 pg. 208.

[28] Ibn Kathir: al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 519.

[29] Ibn Hazm: Jamharat Ansab al ‘Arab, vol. 1 pg. 163; Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 52 pg. 136; Ibn Hajar: al Isabah, vol. 13 pg. 118. The hadith appears in Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 61.

[30] Ibn Hazm: Jamharat Ansab al ‘Arab, vol. 1 pg. 163; Mus’ab al Zubairi: Nasab Quraysh, vol. 1 pg. 136.

[31] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 269; Ibn al Athir: Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 355; al Nawawi: Tahdhib al Asma’ wa al Lughat, vol. 1 pg. 399; Ibn Hajar: al Isabah, vol. 7 pg. 661. The hadith appears in Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 1381 from the chain of Ibn Abi Mulaykah who in turn reports on the authority of Sayyidina Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Al Tirmidhi points out, “Ibn Abi Mulaykah did not meet Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah.” (Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 6 pg. 170.) The hadith is, thus, munqati’.

[32] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 10 pg. 219; Ibn al Jawzi: Safwat al Safwah, vol. 2 pg. 55 – 58.

[33] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, vol. 2 pg. 134.

[34] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 130: al Qurtubi: al Jami’ li Ahkam al Qur’an, vol. 18 pg. 49.

[35] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, vol. 2 pg. 135; Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 231.

[36] Muhammad ibn Habib: al Muhabbar, vol. 2 pg. 437.

[37] Muhibb al Din al Tabari: al Riyad al Nadirah fi Manaqib al ‘Asharah, pg. 382.

[38] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, vol. 3 pg. 86; Ibn Hajar: al Taqrib, Biography: 3499.

[39] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 261.

[40] Al Waht: An orchard of ‘Amr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu situated in Ta’if which will be mentioned in future.

[41] Ibn Hazm: Jamharat Ansab al ‘Arab, vol. 1 pg. 163 – 164.

[42] Ibn Hajar: al Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 61.

[43] Mus’ab al Zubairi: Nasab Quraysh, vol. 1 pg. 137.

[44] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Isti’ab, vol. 3 pg. 268 – 269 with variation; Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 16 pg. 219.

[45] The path has become clear. (Ibn al Athir: al Nihayah, vol. 5 pg. 119)

[46] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 3 pg. 31. The hadith is hassan. Musnad Ahmed, vol. 29 pg. 312, Hadith: 17777; al Hakim: al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 337; Musnad al Harith, Hadith: 1029, as in Bughyat al Harith; al Tabarani: al Tiwal, vol. 1 pg. 218. Al Albani has declared it hassan in Irwa’ al Ghalil, vol. 5 pg. 123 and so has al Arna’ut in the takhrij of the hadith in al Musnad.

[47] Futuh Misr, vol. 1 pg. 66.

[48] Evenly proportioned. (Ibn Sayyidah: al Mukhassas, vol. 1 pg. 184.

[49] Ibn ‘Abdul Hakam: Futuh Misr wa Akhbaruha, pg. 98; al Daraqutni: al Mu’talaf wa al Mukhtalaf, vol. 2 pg. 1003.

[50] Al Isti’ab, vol. 1 pg. 368.

[51] Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah, vol. 5 pg. 342.

[52] Al Waqidi: al Maghazi, vol. 2 pg. 465.

[53] Al Halabi: al Sirah al Halabiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 653.

[54] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the ahadith of the Prophets, chapter on: were you witnesses when death faced Yaqub, Hadith: 3374.

[55] Al wabar: with a fathah on the waw and a sukun on the ba’. A vermin smaller than a cat, brownish in colour, without a tail, which lives in homes. The plural is wubur, wibar, and wibarah. The feminine is wabarah. The meaning of al Jawhari’s statement that it has no tail is that it does not have a long tail. A hyrax has a noticeably short tail. People call the hyrax the sheep of Bani Isra’il and believe that it was transformed, since its tail with its shortness looks like the rear of a lamb. This is an obscure view, however, which should not be considered. (Abu al Baqa’ al Dimyari: Hayat al Hayawan al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 533)

[56] It appears like this in Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 46 pg. 154, Dar al Fikr print, research of ‘Amr al ‘Amrawi. Some sources have it as: yadan wa sadar (two hands and a chest) as in al Baghawi: Mujam al Sahabah, vol. 5 pg. 91; al Siyar, vol. 3 pg. 69. Others have: udhunan wa sadar (two ears and a chest) as in Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 1 pg. 203; al Bidayah, vol. 9 pg. 474; Rawa’i’ al Tafsir (al Jami’ li Tafsir al Imam Ibn Rajab), vol. 1 pg. 132. Some have: minkaban (shoulders) like Abu al ‘Ala’ al Tannukhi: Risalat al Sahil wa al Shajih, vol. 1 pg. 445.

[57] The researcher says: What was originally waw mim: “The gist of its creation is disgraceful.” The positive method: Your entire being is disgraceful, from al Bidayah wa al Nihayah. In Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, it appears: wa bayan khalqihi hafar (mentioning its creation is digging).

Probably, the accurate wording is haqrun naqrun as appears in al Bidayah, vol. 9 pg. 474, Hajar print, research by al Turki; Tafsir Ibn Kathir―at some places―vol. 4 pg. 356, Dar Taybah print, research by Sami Salamah.

Ibn Durayd says: al haqr is the origin of haqartu al rajul (I disgraced a man), ahqarahu haqran wa muhaqqaratan fa ana haqir wa al rajul mahqur wa haqir. The Arabs say: A hyrax and a rabbit quarrelled. The hyrax told the rabbit, “A nose and two ears and you are wholly two trunks.” The rabbit re-joined, “Two shoulders and a chest and you are wholly disgraced.” It seems as if naqar just follows since they say: haqir naqir. The Arabs say: haqran li fulan, muhaqqaratan lahu, haqaratan, wa haqaratan. (Ibn Durayd: Jamharat al Lughah, vol. 1 pg. 591)

Al Lihyani says: It is said that the hyrax told the rabbit, “Ears, ears! Weak with two shoulders and you are wholly two morsels.” The rabbit retorted, “Hyrax, Hyrax! Feebleness and a chest, and you are wholly disgraced.” (al Maydayni: Majma’ al Amthal, vol. 2 pg. 393)

[58] Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah, vol. 9 pg. 555.

[59] Al Kala’i: al Iktifa’ bima tadammannahu min Maghazi Rasulillah wa al Thalathah al Khulafa’, vol. 3 pg. 268.

[60] Al Waqidi: Futuh al Sham, vol. 1 pg. 201.

[61] Al ‘alaq: thick blood. (al Azhari: Tahdhib al Lughah, vol. 1 pg. 243; al Jawhari: al Sihah, vol. 4 pg. 1529)

[62] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 46 pg. 157.

[63] Dajja: to walk slowly with short steps. It is said: it is to advance and retreat. It is said: it is the same as dabba (to crawl/move slowly). (Ibn Sayyidah: al Muhkam wa al Muhit al A’zam, vol. 7 pg. 189)

[64] Muhammad ibn Habib: al Munammaq fi Akhbar Quraysh, pg. 522.

[65] Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 17802; al Bukhari: al Adab al Mufrad, vol. 1 pg. 112; Sunan Abi Dawood al Tayalisi, Hadith: 1061; Musnad Abi Ya’la, Hadith: 7336; Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadith: 3211. The wording is Ahmed’s. Al Hakim classified it sahih in al Mustadrak, vol. 2 pg. 3, on the standard of Muslim and al Dhahabi concurred. Al Albani classified in sahih in Ghayat al Maram, vol. 1 pg. 454.

[66] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 5 pg. 55, al Khanji print. The sanad is sahih until ‘Abdullah ibn Buraydah. However, he did not meet Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[67] Musnad Abi Ya’la, Hadith: 7347. The researcher Hussain Salim Asad commented, “The narrators are reliable.”

[68] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh, vol. 2 pg. 249; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 9 pg. 541.

[69] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 3 pg. 392.