Under this theme, our focus on the Iftaar program during weekdays, will be to take a look at incidents from the lives of the illustrious Sahabah رضي الله عنهم and see how they overcame the trials they faced whether it was because of family or the absence of it.
Today we take a look at this great Sahabi:
Thumamah ibn Uthal
Continuing with the story of Thumamah ibn Uthal RA, he was actually on his way to perform Umrah when he was captured by the Companions RA, so after having accepted Islam, he sought the mashurah of Nabi ﷺ, saying;
“O Rasulullah, when your horsemen captured me, I was on my way to perform Umrah. What do you think I should do now?”
“Go ahead and perform your Umrah,” replied the Prophet ﷺ, “but perform it according to the laws of Allah and His messenger.” The Prophet ﷺ then taught him how to perform Umrah according to Islamic rules.
Thumamah RA left to fulfil his intention. When he reached the valley of Makkah, he began shouting in a loud, resonant voice:
“Labbayk Allahumma labbayk. Labbayka Laa shareeka Laka labbayk. Innal hamda wan ni’mata Laka wil mulk. Laa shareeka Lak. (Here I am at Your command O Lord, Here I am. Here I am. No partner have You. Here I am. Praise, bounty and Dominion belong to You. No partner have You.”)
He was thus the first Muslim on the face of the earth to enter Makkah reciting the talbiyah.
The Quraysh heard the sound of the talbiyah and felt both anger and alarm. With drawn swords, they set out towards the voice to punish the one who had thus assaulted their preserve. As they came closer to him, Thumamah RA raised his voice even higher while reciting the talbiyah and looked upon them with pride and defiance. One of the Quraysh young men was particularly incensed and was about to shoot Thumamah RA with an arrow when the others grabbed his hand and shouted:
“Woe to you! Do you know who this is? He is Thumamah ibn Uthal, ruler of al-Yamamah. By Allah, if you should harm him, his people would cut our supplies, with dire consequences for us.”
Swords were replaced in their scabbards as the Quraysh went up to Thumamah RA and said:
“What’s wrong with you, Thumamah? Have you given in and abandoned your religion and the religion of your forefathers?”
“I have not given in,” he replied, “but I have decided to follow the best religion. I follow the religion of Muhammad.” He then went on: “I swear to you by the Lord of this House that after my return to Yamamah, no grain of wheat or any of its produce shall reach you until you follow Muhammad.”
Under the watchful eyes of the Quraysh, Thumamah RA performed Umrah as the Prophet ﷺ had instructed him. He dedicated his sacrifice to Allah alone.
Thumamah RA returned to his land and ordered his people to withhold supplies from the Quraysh. The boycott gradually began to have effect and became more and more stringent. Prices began to rise. Hunger began to bite and there was even fear of death among the Quraysh. Thereupon, they wrote to the Prophet ﷺ, saying:
“Our agreement with you (the treaty of Hudaybiyyah) is that you should maintain the bonds of kinship but you have gone against that. You have cut the bonds of kinship. You have killed and caused death through hunger. Thumamah ibn Uthal has cut our supplies and inflicted harm on us. Perhaps you would see fit to instruct him to resume sending us what we need.”
The Prophet ﷺ immediately sent a messenger instructing Thumamah RA to lift the boycott and resume supplies to the Quraysh. This Thumamah RA did.
Thumamah RA spent the rest of his life in the service of his religion, abiding by the undertaking he had given to the Prophet ﷺ. When the Prophet ﷺ passed away, many Arabs began leaving the religion of Allah in great numbers. Musaylamah, the impostor, began calling the Banu Hanifah to believe in him as a Prophet. Thumamah RA confronted him and said to his people:
“O Banu Hanifah, beware of this grievous matter. There is no light or guidance in it. By Allah, it will only bring distress and suffering to whoever joins this movement and misfortune even to those who do not join.
“O Banu Hanifah, two prophets do not come at the same time and there shall be no Prophet after Muhammad and no Prophet to share in his mission.”
He then read out to them the following verses of the Quran: “Ha Mim. The revelation of this Book is from Allah the Almighty, the Knowing. He forgives sins and accepts repentance. He is severe in punishment and has a long reach. There is no god except Him. To Him is the journey’s end.” (Surah Ghafir; verses 1-3).
“Can you compare these words of Allah with the uttering of Musaylamah?” he asked.
He then gathered together all those who had remained in Islam and began to wage a jihad against the apostates and to make the words of Allah supreme. The loyal Muslims of Banu Hanifah needed additional help to stand against the armies of Musaylamah. Their arduous task was completed by the forces dispatched by Abu Bakr RA but at the cost of many a Muslim life.
Lesson to Learn:
Who could display the maintaining and keeping of family ties better than the best of Allah`s creation, Muhammed ﷺ. Even though the Quraysh had exhausted every possible way to kill him and cause him pain, yet when asked, he needed no second encouragement to concede to their wish and hold up the bonds of family.