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Massive Online Encyclopedia of Islam : ABU JAHL
ABU JAHL

Abu Jahl means Father of Folly, whose real name was ‘Amr ibn Hisham. Abu Jahl was the mock name given to him by the Muslims (who came up with this name?). He was one of the leaders in Mecca before the city surrendered to Muhammad's army.

At the death of Muhammad's uncle, Abu Talib, Muhammad tried to persuade him to accept Islam. Abu Jahl was at his side dissuading him (Sahih Bukhari 2.442, Sahih Bukhari 5.223, Sahih Bukhari 6.197, Sahih Bukhari 6.295)

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

Abu Jahl said, "If I see Muhammad praying at the Ka'ba, I will tread on his neck." When the Prophet heard of that, he said, "If he does so, the Angels will snatch him away." (Sahih Bukhari 6.482)

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Abu Jahl said, "O Allah! If this (Quran) is indeed the Truth from You, then rain down on us a shower of stones from the sky or bring on us a painful torment." So Allah revealed:-- "But Allah would not punish them while you were amongst them, nor He will punish them while they seek (Allah's) forgiveness..." (8.33) And why Allah should not punish them while they turn away (men) from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque of Mecca)..." (8.33-34) (Sahih Bukhari 6.171, Sahih Bukhari 6.172)

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. (Sahih Bukhari 1.241. also Sahih Bukhari 4.185, Sahih Bukhari 4.409, Sahih Bukhari 5.193)

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." Umaiiya 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. (Sahih Bukhari 4.826. also Sahih Bukhari 5.286, Sahih Bukhari 5.297)

Narrated 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf:

While I was standing in the row on the day (of the battle) of Badr, I looked to my right and my left and saw two young Ansari boys, and I wished I had been stronger than they. One of them called my attention saying, "O Uncle! Do you know Abu Jahl?" I said, "Yes, What do you want from him, O my nephew?" He said, "I have been informed that he abuses Allah's Apostle. By Him in Whose Hands my life is, if I should see him, then my body will not leave his body till either of us meet his fate." I was astonished at that talk. Then the other boy called my attention saying the same as the other had said. After a while I saw Abu Jahl walking amongst the people. I said (to the boys), "Look! This is the man you asked me about." So, both of them attacked him with their swords and struck him to death and returned to Allah'S Apostle to inform him of that. Allah's Apostle asked, "Which of you has killed him?" Each of them said, "I Have killed him." Allah's Apostle asked, "Have you cleaned your swords?" They said, "No. " He then looked at their swords and said, "No doubt, you both have killed him and the spoils of the deceased will be given to Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh." The two boys were Muadh bin 'Afra and Muadh bin Amr bin Al-Jamuh. (Sahih Bukhari 4.369. see also Sahih Bukhari 5.324, Sahih Bukhari 5.298, Sahih Bukhari 5.300, Sahih Bukhari 5.301, Sahih Bukhari 5.355 )

When Ali b. Abu Talib wanted to marry Abu Jahl's daughter, Muhammad, father of Fatima, wife of Ali, was very upset and declared that Fatima and Abu Jahl's daughter cannot get together (Sahih Bukhari 4.342). Ali gave up that engagement as a result (Sahih Bukhari 5.76). This incident is also quite interesting in that Fatima was not happy with Ali taking another woman, and Muhammad relented, and praised his other son-in-law, Zaynab's husband, for being faithful. Yet, he himself had so many wives.

Malik's Muwatta 20.43.139 Malik's Muwatta 28.20.46


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