3. Abu Sufyan (The noblest of Quraysh)
1- At Uhud
Abu Sufyan did not take part in the Battle of Badr; but he felt overjoyed with the victory of Quraysh at the battle of Uhud, although at one point on that day, he was about to be killed by Hanzhalah.
At the beginning of the Battle, Abu Sufyan sent a message to the Ansar in Al-Madinah telling them to leave him to deal with his cousin (the Prophet), for he had no need to fight the people of Al-Madinah; but they gave a threatening answer.
After the battle, it was Abu Sufyan also who went to the top of the mountain and shouted out declaring Quraysh’s victory, “Victory in war goes by turns. Today in exchange for that day (at Badr). Show your superiority, Hubal” (their idol in Makkah). The Prophet told 'Umar to get up and answer Abu Sufyan and say, "Allah is Most High and Most Glorious. We are not equal. Our dead are in Paradise; your dead are in Hell.” Then Abu Sufyan called out to 'Umar, “There are some mutilated bodies among your dead. By Allah it gives me no satisfaction, and no anger. I neither prohibited nor ordered mutilation.”
In fact Abu Sufyan had his share in mutilating the body of Hamzah. He struck the side of Hamzah’s mouth with, the point of his spear, saying, "Taste that, you rebel!" When a leader of one of his allies saw this, he said to his men, "Can this be the noblest of Quraysh who is doing what you see with the body of his dead cousin?" "Confound you,” said Abu Sufyan, "Keep the matter quiet. A slip it was, no more."
2 - At the Trench
As the siege of Al-Madinah proved fruitless, Abu Sufyan thought of returning to Makkah. In fact he cried out, "Men of Quraysh! Our horses and camels are dying; the Banu Qurayzhah have failed us; and now we have suffered from the wind. Therefore be gone from this place, for I am going." As he was about to mount his camel, Ikrimah (another leader of Quraysh) said to him, "You are the head of the people and their leader. Will you go away so hastily, and leave the men behind?" At this Abu Sufyan dismounted and waited until most of his men were already on the homeward march.
Abu Sufyan: "O Muhammad, you have come with an assortment of men - some known and some unknown - against your kindred."
The Prophet: "It is you who are the aggressors. You broke the pact of Hudaybiyah, and helped with the attack on Bani Ka’b, thus sinfully violating the sacred precinct of Allah and His Sanctuary."
Abu Sufyan: "Alas! Have you but turned your anger and your strategy against the Hawazin, for they are further from you in kinship, and fiercer in enmity against you."
The Prophet: "I hope that my Lord will grant me all of that by victory over Makkah, by the triumph therein of Islam, and by the route of Hawazin and He will enrich me with their goods as spoils and their families as captives.” (The next morning Abu Sufyan was taken again to the Prophet).
The Prophet: "Is it not time that you should testify that there is no god but Allah?"
Abu Sufyan: "You are dearer to me than father and mother. How great is your clemency, honor, and mercy. By Allah, I thought that had there been another god with Allah, he would have continued to help me."
The Prophet: "Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, is it not time that you testify that I am Allah’s Messenger?"
Abu Sufyan: "As for that, inside me there is still a scruple."
(The Prophet tells his uncle, Al-'Abbas, to take Abu Sufyan again to his tent for the night. At dawn the next day, Al-'Abbas took Abu Sufyan to the Mosque during prayer time. There he heard the call for prayer, and saw the Muslims crowding around the Prophet).
Abu Sufyan: "What are they (the Muslims) about to do?"
Al-'Abbas: "Perform the Prayer."
Abu Sufyan: "And how often do they pray each day and night?"
Al -'Abbas: "The prayers are five times a day."
Abu Sufyan: "By Allah, it is too much!"
(Abu Sufyan sees the Companions crowding to have some drops from the Prophet’s ablution).
Abu Sufyan: "O Abul Fadl (Al-'Abbas), I have never seen such sovereignty as this!"
Al-'Abbas: "Out upon you! Believe!"
Abu Sufyan: "Take me to him."
(After prayer, Al-'Abbas took Abu Sufyan to the Prophet).
Abu Sufyan: "I now testify that you are the Prophet and Messenger of Allah."
Al-'Abbas (aside to the Prophet): "O Messenger of Allah, you know the love of Abu Sufyan for honor and glory. Grant him therefore some favor."
The Prophet (to Al-'Abbas): "I will."
The Prophet (going to Abu Sufyan): "Go to Quraysh and say to them, "Whosoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe, and whosoever locks upon himself his door shall be safe, and whosoever enters the Mosque shall be safe."
(Abu Sufyan goes with Al-'Abbas to see the Prophet’s army entering Makkah. When he saw the squadrons of the Prophet passing, with only their eyes visible because of their armor, he was greatly impressed).
Abu Sufyan: "Allah is Greater. Al-'Abbas, who are these?"
Al-'Abbas: "The Prophet amidst the Emigrants and the Anser."
Abu Sufyan: "None could stand them. By Allah, Abul Fadl, the kingdom of your brother’s son has become great."
Al-'Abbas: "It is prophethood, not kinship." (Sa'd Ibn 'Ubadah carrying the standard of the Prophet’s squadron, passed by Abu Sufyan).
Sa'd (as he passed): "O Abu Sufyan, this is the day of slaughter! The day when the inviolable shall be violated! The day of Allah’s abasement of Quraysh."
Abu Sufyan (at the top of his voice): "O Messenger of Allah, have you commanded the slaying of your people. I adjure you by Allah on behalf of your people, for you are of all men the greatest of filial piety, the most merciful, the most clement."
The Prophet: "This is the day of mercy, the day on which Allah has exalted Quraysh."
(Abu Sufyan goes quickly to Makkah, stands outside his house, and shouts to those gathered round it).
Abu Sufyan: "O Quraysh, this is Muhammad who has come to you with a force you cannot resist. He who enters my house is safe."
Hind (Abu Sufyan’s wife, seizing him by his moustache): "Slay this greasy good-for-nothing bladder of a man. You miserable protector of a people!"
Abu Sufyan: "Woe to you! Let not this woman deceive you against your better judgement, for there has come to you that which you cannot resist. But whosoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe."
The Gathering: "God slay you! What good will your house be against all our numbers?”
Abu Sufyan: "And whosoever locks upon himself his door shall be safe, and whosoever enters the Mosque shall be safe."
(The crowds disperse).
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