the prophet's manners

Who is Thumamah Ibn Uthal?

Today’s story is about a man who was an enemy of the prophet. But when he saw the prophet’s manners, every thing was changed. Thumamah ibn Uthal was the head of the powerful Banu Hanifah tribe. He was one of the rulers of al- Yamamah tribe who were very powerful to the extent that no one could ever dare to challenge or disobey them.

During the sixth year of Hijra Prophet Mohamed  decided to take a further step in expanding the truth and light of Islam. So he sent eight letters to various rulers throughout the Arabian Peninsula inviting them to Islam. One of the rulers who received an invitation from Prophet Mohamed was Thumamah ibn Utha. At that time he had not embraced Islam yet.

After Thumamah received the Prophet’s letter, he became very angry and refused completely to listen to the invitation of truth and goodness. He also vowed to kill Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).

But on his way to Madinah he was held captive by a group of Muslims. They tied him near the mosque and waited for Prophet Mohamed to question him and decide what should be done with him.

Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) then decided to treat him with generosity and to provide him with all the food he needs rather than treating him harshly as he deserved.

After he ate, Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) went to him with the hope of being able to convince him to embrace Islam.What do you have to say for yourself? Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) asked.

“If you want to kill in reprisal,” Thumamah replied, “you can have someone of noble blood to kill. If, out of your bounty, you want to forgive, I shall be grateful. And if you want money in compensation, I shall give you whatever amount you ask.”

The Prophet then left him for two days, but still personally sent him food and drink and milk. He went back to him and asked, “What do you have to say for yourself”. Thumamah repeated what he had said the day before.

 The Prophet then left and came back to him the following day. “What do you have to say for yourself?” he asked again and Thumamah repeated what he had said once more. Then the Prophet turned to his companions and said, “Set him free.”

Thumamah left the mosque of Prophet Mohamed and took off until he came to a palm grove on the borders of Madinah near al-Baqi’. He watered his camel and washed himself well and then went back to the Prophet’s mosque. There, he stood before a crowd of Muslims and said:”I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger.”

He then went to the Prophet (PBUH), and said:”O Mohamed, by God, there was never on this earth a face more detestable than yours. Now, yours is the dearest face of all to me

Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) then advised him to make the Umrah, in accordance to the Islamic rules.

Thumamah then set off to Makkah to perform the umrah. When The Quraysh heard the sound of the talbiyah they became very angry they went to him 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 Mohamed.”

He then went on: “I swear to you by the Lord of this House that after my return to al-Yamamah, no grain of wheat or any of its produce shall reach you until you follow Mohamed.

What can we learn from this story?

This story shows us that Thumamah embraced Islam after he had seen the prophet’s manners and his friends’ manners. No one told him anything about Islam. He just saw the generosity of the prophet so embraced Islam and fights for Islam for all his life afterwards. This story is an example of being a preacher with your actions

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