Amr ibn Hishām

Amr ibn Hishām (died March 17, 624) ( _ar. عمرو بن هشام), better known as Abu Jahl, was one of the Meccan leaders, known for his hostility against the Muslims.



He was known as Abū al-Hakam (meaning father of wisdom or more idiomatically the one who has wisdom) but was later renamed Abū Jahl (Arabic: أبو جهل) (meaning father of folly/ignorance, see also Jahiliyyah) by Muhammad himself. He was a member of the Banu Hashim clan, and of the Banu Quraish and one of the leaders in Mecca prior to the city's surrender to Muhammad's army. His son was Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl and also had a daughter. He disliked Muhammad and would rebuke and humiliate him in public.


Amr was among the chieftains that in varying degrees kept a relentless hostility towards the Muslims Bukhari|5|59|286] .

When a Muslim convert was discovered among the hierarchy of a tribe, Abu Jahl would reprimand the convert and then ridicule him in front of his fellow tribesmen so that he lost their respect.

Traders who converted also suffered in Abū Jahl hands. When he discovered a trader had converted he gave orders that no one should engage in business with him. As a result, the convert trader was unable to sell his wares and he became impoverished.

The freemen who suffered most were poor converts, who, in the eyes of Abū Jahl, were the least important on the social scale. Abū Jahl would beat the converted without mercy and urged others to follow his example.

As for convert slaves belonging to the polytheist Quraish, they received the harshest punishment, for their standing was by far the weakest. Common punishments included brutal beatings followed by food and water deprivation, but perhaps the most severe punishment was that of being pinned down upon the scorching hot sands of Mecca, left to endure the blistering heat of the sun without relief.

Abū Jahl beat Zinnira for her conversion to such an extent that she lost her eyesight. He also came to Sumayyah bint Khayyat (mother of Ammar ibn Yasir) and inflicted on her mortal wounds by stabbing her with a spear in her private parts. She was the first 'shaheedah' (martyr) in Islam.

Some of the physically weaker converts were unable to endure their prolonged punishment and recanted. However, their recantations were not authentic. Those who remained undetected would offer their prayers in secret, but there were many who did not have the privilege of privacy and their grief at not being able to offer their prayers was considerable.

Battle of Badr

Prior to the Battle of Badr, Sa'd ibn Mua'dh had visited Mecca once to perform his Umrah with his non-Muslim friend Umayah ibn Khalaf, when they came across Abu Jahl. They had an argument, and as it became heated, Sa'd threatened Abu Jahl with stopping the Meccan trade route to Syria and informed Umayah that his life was threatened by Muhammad .

Abu Jahl was killed in the Battle of Badr by two youths, Muawwaz ibn Amr and Muaaz ibn Amr.

See also

* Sahaba


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