Da‘wah-Related Incidents and a Distinguishing Ability to Deal with People - I
Lessons to be Learned from the Conquest of Makkah
1- Suhayl bin ‘Amr Embraces Islam
Suhayl bin ‘Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said,
When the Prophet entered Makkah victoriously, I confined myself to my house and shut the door. I sent to my son ‘Abdullaah to seek protection for me from Muhammad because I felt my life was unsafe. I kept remembering my past situations with the Prophet and his Companions and found that I had the worst background with them. I behaved badly with the Prophet like nobody had done on the day of the Al-Hudaybiyah Peace Treaty, whose articles I wrote. Moreover, I attended the Battles of Badr and Uhud with the Quraysh with whom I moved wherever they went.
‘Abdullaah bin Suhayl went to the Prophet and asked him if it was possible to grant his father protection, and the Prophet replied that he was granted the protection given by Allah The Almighty. The Prophet told him to appear and addressed the attendants, saying: “Let whoever meets Suhayl bin ‘Amr not glare at him. Let Suhayl go out freely. By Allah, he is a wise, noble man - the like of whom is not ignorant of Islam. Now he has realized that his past actions will not avail him the least.”
‘Abdullaah returned to his father and told him this news to which Suhayl responded by saying, “By Allah! Muhammad is a righteous man - young and old.” Suhayl remained hesitant. He set out to the Battle of Hunayn with the Prophet while he was still a polytheist and embraced Islam in Al-Ji‘iraanah. [Al-Haakim’s Mustadrak]
The wise words of the Prophet had a far-reaching effect on Suhayl bin ‘Amr and made him praise the Prophet by describing him to have been righteous throughout his life. Later, he embraced Islam and became a good Muslim offering many acts of worship. Az-Zubar bin Bakkaar said, “Suhayl bin ‘Amr performed many voluntary prayers, observed much voluntary fasting and gave a lot in charity. He took his family to Ash-Shaam [greater Syria] as a Mujaahid [holy warrior]. It was said that he would perform prayers at night and observe fasting until his face turned pale. He would burst into tears upon hearing the Quran, and was later appointed leader of a large detachment in the Battle of Al-Yarmook.”
2- Safwaan bin Umayyah Embraces Islam
‘Abdullaah bin Az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with him, said
Safwaan bin Umayyah fled until he reached the harbor of Ash-Shu‘aybah and asked Yasaar, his slave, who was alone with him, to look and see who was coming. Yasaar replied, “It is ‘Umayr bin Wahb.” Safwaan said, “What should I do to ‘Umayr? By Allah, he has only come to kill me as he must be supporting Muhammad against me.” He said, “O ‘Umayr, have you not done enough to me already? I had to pay off your debt and look after your children, and now you have come to kill me.” ‘Umayr replied, “O Abu Wahb, I protect you with my life. I have come to you from the most righteous and dutiful man.”
‘Umayr had told the Prophet “O Messenger of Allah, the chief of my people has fled to drown himself in the sea for fear that you would not grant him protection.” The Prophet granted him protection. ‘Umayr then followed Safwaan and told him that the Prophet had granted him protection. Safwaan swore not to go with him until he brought a clear sign to prove that what he was saying was true. So ‘Umayr returned to the Messenger and said, “O Messenger of Allah, Safwaan fled to kill himself, and when I informed him that you had given him protection, he refused to return until I bring him a clear sign as proof for this.” Upon that, the Prophet gave him his turban as a sign.
‘Umayr returned to Safwaan with the Yemenite turban of the Prophet – a piece of cloth he wrapped his head with that day. ‘Umayr came to him with the turban and said, “Abu Wahb, I have come to you from the cream of people, the most dutiful to ties of kinship, the most righteous and most forbearing person. His glory is your glory, his honor is your honor, and his domain is your domain. O son of your father and mother, mention Allah The Almighty within yourself!” Safwaan said that he was afraid of being killed, but ‘Umayr told him that the Prophet was inviting him to embrace Islam. If he accepted it, that would be good. Otherwise, he would be given a two-month respite. He repeated that the Prophet was the most dutiful and truest man to his oaths and that he sent him his turban that he had wrapped around his head when he entered Makkah. He asked Safwaan if he knew it, and Safwaan answered in the affirmative.
Safwaan went to the Prophet while he was performing ‘Asr prayer in the Masjid. They stopped, and Safwaan asked how many times a Muslim has to perform prayer every day, and ‘Umayr said that they performed prayer five times a day led by the Prophet . As the Prophet ended his prayer, Safwaan shouted, “O Muhammad, ‘Umayr bin Wahb came to me with your turban and claimed that you invited me to come to you and that if I accept Islam, it would be fine; otherwise, you will give me a two-month respite.” The Prophet asked him to descend, but he refused until he assured him of the offer. Upon that, the Prophet said: “No. You will rather be given a four-month respite.” Safwaan then came down.
The Prophet set out to Hawaazin, and Safwaan set out with him while he was still a disbeliever. The Prophet asked Safwaan bin Umayyah to give him some equipment and arms. Safwaan gave him one hundred suits of armor with their tools. Safwaan asked if he had the choice to refuse to give them the equipment. The Prophet replied: “It is a returnable loan.” Therefore, he lent him the equipment and the arms that he had. The Prophet ordered him to transfer them to Hunayn. Safwaan was present at the Battles of Hunayn and At-Taa'if.
The Messenger of Allah returned to Al-Ji‘irraanah. The Prophet was walking among the booties and Safwaan was with him and staring at a narrow mountain pass that was full of cattle, sheep and goats. The Prophet was looking at him. The Prophet said: “O Abu Wahb, do you like this pass?” Safwaan replied, “Yes.” The Prophet said: “The pass and its contents are yours.” This unexpected offer encouraged Safwaan to say, “Only a prophet can willingly make such an offer. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.” Safwaan embraced Islam.
In this story, we notice that the Prophet tried to attract the heart of Safwaan to Islam until the latter embraced it. This was done by granting him protection, then, allowing him a four-month respite to decide, followed by favoring him with an extraordinary gift that no ordinary person could give. The Prophet gave him and some of the chiefs of Makkah one hundred camels, then, all the camels and sheep that were present in one mountain pass. Seeing that, Safwaan admitted, “Only a prophet can willingly make such an offer.” After that, he embraced Islam.
In another narration, Safwaan described the generosity of the Prophet saying, “By Allah, when the Messenger gave me what he gave me, he was the most detestable man to me. However, he continued giving to me until now he is the dearest of people to me.” [Muslim]
Da‘wah-Related Incidents and a Distinguishing Ability to Deal with People - II