AT-TUFAIL IBN `AMR AD-DAWSIY
The Rightly Guided Nature
In the land of Daws, he grew up in a noble, respected family. He was gifted with poetry, and his fame and excellence spread among the tribes. During theseason of `Ukaadh, when Arab poets came from all directions and the people gathered and assembled to show off their poetry, At-Tufail used to take his place in the forefront.
He used to frequent Makkah at times other than Ukaadh. Once he visitedMakkah when the Messenger had just started declaring his mission and theQuraish feared that At-Tufail would meet him and convert to Islam and thenput his poetic gift at the service of Islam. That would be a curse upon theQuraish and their idols. On account of this, they circled around him andprepared for him a hospitality that included every kind of joy, comfort,and ease. Then they went on to warn him about meeting the Messenger of Allah.They said to him, "He has charming speech like magic and he makes divisionbetween a man and his son, and a man and his brother, and a man and his wife.I fear for you and your people from him. So do not talk to him nor listento any talk from him."
Let us listen to At-Tufail himself telling the remainder of the story:So by Allah, they were still insisting on my not listening to anything fromhim and not meeting him. And when I went over to the Ka'bah, I filled myears with cotton so as not to hear anything he had to say when he spoke.There I found him standing praying at the Ka' bah, so I stood close to him.Allah refused nothing but He made me hear some portion of what he was reading.I heard a fine speech, and I said to myself, "Oh, may I lose my mother! Indeed I am an intelligent poet. I would not fail to recognize the good from the ugly. What is it that hinders me from listening to the man and what he says? If that which he brings is good, I should accept it, and if it is bad...."
I stayed until Muhammad departed to his house. I followed him until heentered his house, so I entered behind him and said to him, "O Muhammad,verily your people have told me such-and-such about you. By Allah, they keptmaking me afraid of you until I blocked my ears with cotton in order notto hear your words. But Allah willed that I hear, so I heard a fine speech.Set forth to me your message."
So the Messenger presented to me Islam and recited to me from the Qur'aan. By Allah, I had never heard a speech better than it, nor a matter more just than it. So, I surrendered and bore witness to the truth.
I said, "O Messenger of Allah, indeed I am a person of credibility among my people and I am returning to them to invite them to Islam, so call onAllah to make a sign for me that will be a help for me in that which I callthem to." He said, "O Allah, make for him a sign."
Allah has spoken appreciatively in His book " Those who listen to the speech and follow the best part of it " (39:18).
We have met one of those great people and he is, indeed, a true picture of the image of the rightly guided nature.
So, no sooner had he heard it than he accepted the message of some of the blessed guiding verses which Allah had revealed to the heart of His Messenger until all his hearing was opened and all his heart, until he stretched out his right hand to swear the oath of allegiance. Not only that, but he immediately took upon himself the responsibility of inviting his people and kin to this religion of truth and the straight path.
For this reason, as soon as he reached his country and house in the land of Daws, he confronted his father about that which was in his heart concerning the principles of faith and perseverance. He called his father to Islam after speaking to him about the Messenger who calls to Allah. He spoke to him about his greatness, about his purity and honesty, and his father became a Muslim immediately. Then he went to his mother, and she became a Muslim. Then to his wife, and she became a Muslim. When he was sure that Islam had swept overhis household, he moved on to his tribe and to all the inhabitants of Daws.
However, no one from among them accepted Islam except Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him).
They went on disappointing him and turning away from him until he ran out of patience with them, so he rode his beast, cutting through the desert,returning to the Messenger of Allah to complain to him and to take more andmore of his teachings. When he arrived in Makkah, he hastened to the houseof the Messenger, driven by his yearning to see him. He said to the Prophet(PBUH), "O Messenger of Allah, indeed adultery and usury have beaten me inour fight over Daws. So, call on Allah to destroy Daws."
Suddenly, At-Tufail was baffled when he saw the Messenger (PBUH) raisehis hands to the sky while saying, "O Allah, guide Daws and bring them toIslam as Muslims." Then he turned to At-Tufail and said to him, "Return toyour people, call them and be lenient with them."
This scene filled the soul of At-Tufail with awe and filled his spiritwith peace. He thanked Allah with the deepest praise for making this humanmerciful Messenger his teacher and instructor, and for making Islam his religionand his joy. He returned to his land and people, and there he went on calling to Islam gradually and leniently, just as the Messenger had advised him.
During the period he spent among his people, the Messenger emigrated to Al-Madiinah and the battles of Badr, `Uhud and Khandaq took place. Whilethe Messenger of Allah was in Khaibar, after Allah had given the Muslimsvictory over it, a full procession including 80 families from Daws approachedthe Messenger saying, "There is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest."They sat before him giving the oath of allegiance one after the other.
When this lavish spectacle of theirs and their blessed oath was over At-Tufail Ibn `Amr sat alone by himself reiterating his memories and contemplatinghis steps along the way. He remembered the day he came to the Messenger asking him to raise his hands to the sky saying, "O Allah, destroy Daws." Yet,the Prophet supplicated and humbly prayed to Allah on that day with anotherprayer which aroused his amazement. "O Allah, guide Daws and bring themto Islam as Muslims!" And Allah had guided Daws and brought them as Muslims.And here they were, 80 families of them, consisting of the majority of itsinhabitants, taking their place in the pure ranks behind the trustworthyMessenger of Allah.
At-Tufail continued his work with the believing community, and on the day of the Conquest of Makkah, he entered it with tens of thousands of Muslims. They never withdrew in pride and strength but with their foreheads bowedin adoration, glorifying and thanking Allah Who rewarded them with victoryand a clear help.
At-Tufail saw the Messenger of Allah destroying the idols of the Ka`bahand purifying it with his own hands from the impurity which had lingeredfor so long. Immediately afterwards, he remembered an idol belonging to AmrIbn Humamah. Whenever he stayed over as his guest, he used to show it tohim, so he became fearful in its presence and pleaded to it. Now the opportunity had come for At-Tufail to erase the sin of those days from his soul. Heapproached the Messenger, requesting permission to go burn the idol of Humamahcalled "The Two Palms", and the Prophet (PBUH) gave him permission.
At-Tufail went over and lit the fire on it and every time the flame went down, he stoked it again to a blazing fire. All the while he said,
O Idol of Two Palms,
I am not one of your worshipers.
Our origin is older than your origin.
I have filled fire in your heart.
Thus did At-Tufail live with the Prophet (PBUH), praying behind him, learning from him, and fighting with him. The Prophet (PBUH) was transported to the most exalted horizon. However, At-Tufail saw that his responsibility as a Muslim did not end with the death of the Messenger, but rather it was about to start. Therefore, no sooner had the apostasy wars erupted than At-Tufail prepared for them and embarked courageously on their hardships and terrors with a yearning for martyrdom. He participated in the apostasy wars, battle after battle.
In Battle of Al-Yamaamah, he went out with the Muslims accompanied by his son `Amr Ibn At- Tufail. At the beginning of the battle he advised his son to fight the army of Musailamah the Liar, like one who desires death and martyrdom.
He told him that he felt he would die in this battle, and thus his sword carried him. He plunged into the fight in a glorious performance. He didnot defend his life with his sword but he defended his sword with his life.So, when he died his body fell down, but the sword remained sharp and intactso that another hand whose owner had not yet fallen could strike with it.
In the battle, At-Tufail Ad-Dawsiy was martyred. His body fell down under the flurry of stabs and strikes while he was waving to his son, who was unable to see him admist the crowd.
He was waving to him as if he were calling him to follow and join him.And he did actually follow him, but after a while. In the Battle of Yarmuukin Syria, `Amr Ibn At-Tufail went out to fight and died as a martyr. At thetime his spirit was coming out of his breast, he extended his right handand opened his palm as if he would shake the hand of someone else. And whoknows ? Perhaps at that time he was shaking the spirit of his father.