`AMR IBN AI-JAMUUH
I Want to Walk Proudly with My Lameness in Paradise!
He was related to Abd Allah Ibn `Amr lbn Hiraam by marriage, being thehusband of his sister Hind bint `Amr. Amr Ibn Al- Jamuuh was one of the leadersof Al-Madiinah and one of the chiefs of the Salamah tribe. His son Mu'aadhlbn Amr, who was one of the seventy Ansaar of the pledge of `Aqabah precededhim in Islam.
Mu`aadh Ibn `Amr and his friend Mu'aadh lbn Jabal 1 were calling the people of Al-Madiinah to Islam with the enthusiasm of bold and believing youth.
It was a custom that the nobles kept symbolic idols in their houses other than the big idols set up in places of public gathering. As a nobleman and chief, Amr lbn Al-Jamuuh made an idol to install in his house and calledit Manaaf. His son Mu'aadh lbn `Amr agreed with his comrade Mu'aadh Ibn Jabal to make `Amr lbn Al-Jamuuh's idol an object of ridicule. They used to enter his house at night, take the idol and throw it into a cess pit. And whenAmr would wake up he would not find Manaaf in its place, and would keep looking for it till he found it thrown into that pit. He used to rage and say, "Woe unto you, who transgressed our gods this night!" Then he would wash andperfume it. When night came again, the two Mu`aadh, would do to the idolas they had done the previous night.
When `Amr got weary he took his sword and put it on Manaaf's neck and said to it, "If you are a beneficial god defend yourself." When he woke up he didnot find it in its place, but rather found it discarded in the same cess pit.But this time, it was not in the pit alone but was tied to a dead dog bya strong rope.
While he was angry, sorry, and surprised, some of the nobles of Al-Madiinah who had preceded him in Islam approached him. They pointed at the idol tied to the dead dog and addressed `Amr lbn Al Jamuuh's mind, heart and goodsense, talking to him about the Most True and Most High Allah Whom thereis nothing like. They talked to him about the trustworthy, faithful Muhammadwho came to give, not to take, to guide, not to misguide. They talked tohim about Islam that came to liberate mankind from all the shackles, revivethe spirit of Allah in them, and spread His light in their hearts.
In a few moments, `Amr discovered himself and his destiny. He purifiedand perfumed his clothes and body, then went, bearing his head high, to acknowledge the Seal of the Prophets (PBUH) and to take his place among the believers.
One may wonder how those nobles and leaders of their people, like `Amrlbn Al-Jamuuh, could believe in helpless idols to that extent. How did theirreason not restrain them? How do we render them today among the great menafter their embracing Islam and sacrificing? It is easy to raise these questions nowadays, as no child would accept to set up a piece of wood in his house and worship it. But in olden days, people's hearts used to embrace suchdoings. Their intelligence and genius could do nothing against tradition.
For example, Athens, in the days of Pericles, Pythagoras, and Socrates,attained a dazzling intellectual progress. However, all its people, includingphilosophers and judges, used to believe in sculptured idols in a ridiculousway. The reason is that religious sense in those remote ages was not as developedas the intellectual progress.
Amr lbn Al-Jamuuh dedicated his heart and life to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Although he was generous by nature, Islam made him more generousso that he put all his money in the service of his religion and his brethren.
The Messenger (PBUH) asked a group of the Bani Salamah tribe, the tribeof `Amr Ibn Al-Jamuuh, "Who is your chief, O Bani Salamah?" They answered,"Al-Jad Ibn Qais, inspite of his being a miser."
He (PBUH) said, "No, your chief is the white curly haired Amr Ibn Al-Jamuuh." This testimony from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was a great honor to Ibn Al-Jamuuh.
As `Amr Ibn Al-Jamuuh dedicated his money in the cause of Allah, so hewas willing to sacrifice his soul and life as well. But how? There was asevere lameness in his leg that made him invalid for participating in battle.He had four sons who were all strong Muslim men. They used to go out withthe Messenger (PBUH) in expeditions, persisting in doing their duty of fighting. However, `Amr tried to go out in the Battle of Badr. His sons implored the Prophet (PBUH) to persuade him not to go out, or even to order him if hewas not persuaded. So, the Prophet (PBUH) told him that Islam exempted himfrom jihaad because of his severe lameness. When he began pleading, the Prophet (PBUH) ordered him to stay in Al Madiinah.
When the Battle of Uhud came, `Amr went to the Prophet (PBUH), imploring him to permit him.
He said, "O Messenger of Allah, my sons want to prevent me from going out with you to fight. By Allah, I want to walk proudly with my lameness in Paradise." As he strongly insisted, the Prophet (PBUH) permitted him to go out. So, hetook his weapon and set out to walk happily, invoking Allah in a submissive voice, "O Allah, bestow martyrdom upon me and don't return me to my family."
When the two rival forces met on the Day of Uhud, `Amr Ibn Al-Jamuuh and his four sons set out striking the polytheists with their swords. Amr was walking proudly in the middle of the fierce battle.
With each step his sword cut off the head of a polytheist. He struck with his right hand, then looked around at the highest part of the horizon, as if hastening the arrival of the angel who would make him die and accompany him to Paradise.
Yes, he asked his Lord for martyrdom, being sure that Allah, Glorifiedand Exalted be He above all, would respond to him. He was very much eagerto walk proudly with his lame leg in Paradise so that its people would knowthat Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), knew how to select his Companions and how to develop men.
That which he had been waiting for happened. A sword blow announced the time of the advance of a glorious martyr to the Paradise of immortality.
When the Muslims were burying their martyrs, the Messenger (PBUH) repeated his order which we have already heard elsewhere: "Put `Abd Allah Ibn `Amr Ibn Hiraam and Amr lbn Al-Jamuuh in one grave; they were loving and sincere to each other in this world."
The two loving friends, the two martyrs, were buried in one grave underthe battlefield that received their pure souls and witnessed their extraordinary bravery.
Forty-six years after they and their companions had been buried, a violent torrent descended and covered the graveyard, because of a fountain headof water that Mu`aawiyah made. The Muslims hurried to remove the martyrs'bodies. It was a surprise, however, to find them as those who participatedin removing their bodies described: "Having soft bodies and flexible limbs."
As Jaabir Ibn `Abd Allah was still alive, he went with his family to remove the bodies of his father, `Abd Allah Ibn `Amr Ibn Hiraam, and his aunt's husband,`Amr lbn Al-Jamuuh. However, he found them in their grave as if they weresleeping. They were not changed at all: their faces even had the same smileof happiness that they had had the day they were summoned to meet Allah.
Are you surprised? No, do not be. The great, pious, pure souls that have controlled their destinies usually leave in the bodies that once were their refuge, a kind of immunity that wards off the decomposing factors and the influence of the soil.