An Assassinate Attempt & ‘Umayr bin Wahb Embraces Islam

An Assassinate Attempt & ‘Umayr bin Wahb Embraces Islam
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‘Urwah bin Az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with him, said

 
‘Umayr bin Wahb Al-Jumahi sat with Safwaan bin Umayyah at Al-Hijr [next to the Ka’bah] shortly after the defeat of Badr. ‘Umayr bin Wahb was one of the devils of the Quraysh who would severely harm the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and his Companions in Makkah. His son, Wahb bin ‘Umayr, was one of those who were taken captive in the Battle of Badr.
 
He mentioned the people who had been killed from the Quraysh in the Battle of Badr and their loss. Safwaan said, “By Allah, there is nothing good in life after them.” ‘Umayr said, “You are right. Had it not been for a debt that I can not repay and children for whom I fear a loss after me, I would have headed for Muhammad to kill him for I have a reason; my son is their captive.” Safwaan seized the chance and said to him, “I will repay your debt and I will provide for your children with my children as long as they are alive.” ‘Umayr said to him, “Conceal this matter between me and you.” Safwaan said, “I will.” Then, ‘Umayr ordered for his sword to be sharpened and poisoned.
 
He set out until he reached Madeenah. While ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, was sitting with some Muslims talking about the Battle of Badr and remembering the favor of Allah and the defeat of their enemy, he saw ‘Umayr bin Wahb kneeling his camel before the door of the mosque wearing his sword. ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “This dog is the enemy of Allah, ‘Umayr bin Wahb. He has only come to do something evil. He sowed dissention among us and counted us for the people on the day of Badr.”
 
Then, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, went to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) saying to him, “O Prophet of Allah, the enemy of Allah ‘Umayr bin Wahb has come and he is wearing his sword.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Let him enter.” ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, went to ‘Umayr and tied him with the belt of his sword and told those who were present among the Ansaar [helpers] to sit with the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and to guard him from this evil man who could not be trusted.
 
Then, they went to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) who told ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, to release him when he saw him holding ‘Umayr from his neck by the belt of his sword. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Draw near [to me], ‘Umayr.”
 
When he drew near, he said, “Good morning!” This was the greeting of the people of Jaahiliyyah [pre-Islamic ignorance]. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah has honored us with a greeting that is better than yours, O ‘Umayr. It is the greeting of peace [Assalamu Alaykum], which is the greeting of the people of Paradise.” He replied, “By Allah, O Muhammad, I have recently come to know this.”
 
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked: “Why did you come?” He answered saying, “I came for that captive [his son] in your hands, so, be kind to him.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “What about the sword that you hang around your neck?” He replied, “May Allah distort them (i.e., swords), did they spare us anything?” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Tell me the truth. Why did you come?” He replied, “I only came for this.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Nay! You sat with Safwaan bin Umayyah at Al-Hijr and remembered the people who had been killed from the Quraysh during the Battle of Badr. Then, you said, ‘Had it not been for a debt I owe and children I have, I would have gone out to kill Muhammad.’ Then, Safwaan bin Umayyah promised you to pay back your debt and to provide for your children if you kill me. Allah will prevent you from killing me.”
 
‘Umayr said, “I testify that you are the Messenger of Allah! O Messenger of Allah, we would belie you concerning the revelation from heaven and this matter is known to none except me and Safwaan. By Allah, I know that none told you about this except Allah. So, praise be to Allah who guided me to Islam and drove me to Islam in this way.” Then, he declared the two testimonies of faith. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Teach your brother the religious matters, teach him the Quran and set his captive free.” The Companions did so.
 
Then, ‘Umayr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “O Messenger of Allah, I have striven hard to extinguish the light of Allah and I would severely harm the followers of the religion of Allah The Almighty. So, I would like you to give me permission to return to Makkah to call the people there to Allah, His Messenger and Islam, perhaps Allah The Almighty will guide them. Otherwise, I will harm them in their religion as I would harm your Companions in their religion.” The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) gave him permission and he left for Makkah.
 
After the departure of ‘Umayr to Madeenah, Safwaan bin Umayyah would say to the people of the Quraysh, “You will hear good news within days that will make you forget [the loss of] the Battle of Badr.” He would ask about the coming of people who were traveling, until someone came and told him about ‘Umayr’s, embracing of Islam. Consequently, he swore not to talk to him or be of benefit to him ever again.
 
There are lessons and benefits in this story:
1.     The polytheists’ keenness on the physical liquidation of the Islamic callers, for here were Safwaan and ‘Umayr agreeing on killing the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). This teaches us that the enemies of Da‘wah are not content with refusing Da‘wah and driving people away from it; rather, they want to assassinate the Islamic callers and make plans to kill them. Moreover, they may hire criminals to fulfill this evil goal. The wealthy enemies of Da‘wah may utilize the need and poverty of the poor to use them, in return for an amount of money, to serve their goals even if this leads to their death. Safwaan exploited the poverty of ‘Umayr and his straitened conditions and his debt to drive him to his deadly fate.
2.     The appearance of the high sense of security that distinguished the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was aware of the arrival of ‘Umayr, warned the people about him and declared that he had come for an evil purpose. His history of harming the Muslims in Makkah and inciting the polytheists to fight the Muslims in Badr and collecting information about the Muslim army, was known to ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him. Hence, he took the necessary precautions to protect the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). He firmly held ‘Umayr from his neck by the belt of his sword making him unable to use his sword to harm the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, also ordered some of the Companions to guard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).
3.     Taking pride in the teachings of this religion. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) refused to answer the greeting of Jaahiliyyah because Allah The Almighty had honored the Muslims with the greeting of the people of Paradise.
4.     The noble morals of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) for he treated ‘Umayr kindly, and pardoned him even though he had come to kill him. Moreover, he ordered that his son should be set free. After ‘Umayr, may Allah be pleased with him, embraced Islam, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said to his Companions: “Teach your brother the matters of religion, teach him the Quran and set his captive [son] free.”
5.     The firm faith of ‘Umayr, may Allah be pleased with him, who decided to face all the people of Makkah with his embracing of Islam. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) permitted him to do so; he did so and defied them and then returned to Madeenah. Many people reverted to Islam because of him. ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, would consider him equal to one thousand men. He was one of the four men, each of whom was regarded as equal to one thousand men, whom ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, sent as reinforcements for ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, in a future incident.

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