Umayyah ibn Khalaf

Umayyah ibn Khalaf

Umayyah ibn Khalaf ibn Safwan [Sahih Bukhari [] ] was a Meccan Arab, a leading member of the Quraish and head of the of Bani Jumah. He was an opponent of the Muslims led by Muhammad and is best known as the master of Bilal ibn Ribah, a slave he tortured for converting to Islam.

Other transliterations of the name in include Umayya, Umaiiya and Umaiya.



He was rumored to have a relation with Layla bint Harmalah []

His son, Safwan ibn Umayah, became a Muslim after the conquest of Mecca, another one was killed at Badr.

Opposition to Islam

Umayyah was involved in the pagan religious ceremonies of Mecca, where he distributed perfume in the square of the Kaaba.

After Muhammad began to preach against idolatry, Umayyah became a staunch opponent of the new teaching.

His most notable action in this regard was that he subjected his slave Bilal ibn Ribah to torture for having adopted Islam. Bilal was to lie down on hot burning desert sand and had a heavy stone put on his chest which made breathing difficult for him. And since he still refused to denounce Islam, a heavy person was to jump on the stone. Bilal used to repeat "Ahad! Ahad! (One God! One God!) [Slavery From Islamic and Christian Perspectives by Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi on [] [] , referencing Ibn Sa'd , op. cit., vol. III:1, p. 166; Abu Na'im, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 148; Ibn Hajar, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 336. ] .

Friendship with Abd al-Rahman

Ummayah had a close friend called Abdu-Amr ibn Awf, but their friendship was strained when Abdu Amr converted to Islam John Glubb, "The Life and times Muhammad", Lanham 1998, p. 186f.] . Abdu Amr changed his name to Abd al-Rahman and later emigrated to Medina.

Because of their friendship, the two formed a written agreement, according to which Abd-al-Rahman was to protect Umayah's property and/or family in Medina, while Umayyah would protect Abd-al-Rahman's in Mecca. When Abd al-Rahman's name was mentioned in the document, Umayyah protested, saying "I do not know Ar-Rahman" and requested that the pre-Islamic name "Abdu Amr" should be used, to which Ad al-Rahman yielded Bukhari|3|38|498] .

Pilgrimage of Sa'd

Umayyah was also an intimate fried with Sa'd ibn Mua'dh Bukhari|5|59|286] , the leader of the Banu Aus Fact|date=February 2007. When Umayyah was in Medina on his way to Syria bukhari|4|56|826] , he used to stay with Sa'd and when Sa'd was in Mecca, he used to stay with Umayah .

Prior to the Battle of Badr, Sa'd visited Mecca once to perform his Umrah with Umayyah, 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 Umayyah that his life was threatened by Muhammad .

Battle of Badr

In 624, the Meccan decided to confront the Muslim forces that threatened a caravan from Syria led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. Abu Jahl was rallying the people for war, saying "Go and protect your caravan."

Umayyah however, anxious about Sa'd's warning, disliked to leave Mecca, but Abu Jahl told him "O Abu Safwan! If the people see you staying behind though you are the chief of the people of the Valley, then they will remain behind with you." .

Abu Jahl urged until Umayyah said "As you have forced me to change my mind, by Allah, I will buy the best camel in Mecca". Umayyah told his wife "O Um Safwan, prepare what I need (for the journey)." She said to him, "O Abu Safwan! Have you forgotten what your Yathribi brother told you?" He said, "No, but I do not want to go with them but for a short distance." So when Umaiya went out, he used to tie his camel wherever he camped.

In the battle, Umayyah was captured by his old friend Abd-al-Rahman ibn Awf. He was killed by a group of Muslims led by his former slave Bilal, in spite of Abd al-Rahman's protestations and his attempt to shield Umayyah with his own body. One of Umayyah's sons was also killed at Badr, defending his father.

ee also

*Non-Muslims who interacted with Muslims during Muhammad's era


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