Brief biography Amr ibn al-Jamuh


Prior to the advent of islam. It was the practice, the custom and the ritual of the polytheists of Arabia to have an idol each, In every room of every house. They would embellish and decorate this idol. They would apply the most expensive and exclusive perfumes and in this manner they would revere and honour this idol.


There was an individual in Madinah Tul Munawara who was a polytheist and who practiced exactly the same as his peers. This individual was a frail old ages man, who was in his early 60’s, who went by then name Amr Bin Jamuh. He was a crippled man who had one lame leg. Amr Ibn Al Jamuh was a well known and prominent member of the society of Madinah. Amr Bin Jamuh was the leader of his tribe, he was a dignified and noble individual. Amr ibn Al Jamuh, like it was  the ritual and custom of that time , had his own exclusive idol that he would worship daily, even a few times during the day. Amr Bin Jamuh would embellish and decorate his exclusive idol, he would adorn it with the most immaculate of clothing and apply the most exclusive brands of perfume. Daily, his first practice when he would wakes up was to present himself in front of his idol to honor it, venerate it and pray to it. He would then do the same before going to bed.


It was around this time in Madinah Munawara that The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) sent from Makkah Mukarramah a companion of his who was known as Musab ibn Umair (may Allah be pleased with him) to Madinah Tul Munawara. He was sent to invite the community of Madinah Tul Munawara to Islam and for those who accept the message of Musab ibn Umair, would educate them with regards to the sciences of Islam.


The old Amr Bin Jamuh, who was adamant on worshipping his idol had a wife by the name of Hind and three young handsome children, Mu’aad, Mu’owad and Khallad. When Musab ibn Umair (may allah be pleased with him) was in Madinah Tul Munawara, he left no stone un turned in inviting the people of Madinah Tul Munawara. His invitation had such a profound effect, that it entered not just every home but it entered every room of every house in Madinah Tul Munawara. Amr Bin Jamuh, as adamant as he was about worshipping his idol, had no idea that beneath his own nose, under his own thumb his three young children entered the beautiful faith of Islam at the hands of Musab ibn Umair. Not just his three children but his own spouse Hind accepted Islam and enters the beautiful and pure religion of Islam. It was at this time in Madinah Tul Munawara that Islam was the talk of the town. Every person on every street spoke about Islam. Amr Bin Jamuh feared Islam being accepted by his family, especially by his three children. So Amr Bin Jamuh would often say to his wife Hind that,


“I want you to keep an eye on our three children. Do not allow them to communicate with Musab ibn Umair because if they do they will eventually accept the message of of Musab ibn Umair.”


Least did Amr Bin Jamuh know that his own three children didn’t just accept Islam but were among the best of muslims at the time despite their young age. However Hind feared for her husband that if he passes away from this world in a state of disbelief and polytheism, then he has no abode other than the burning fire of hell. she tried with her limited means to invite her husband to Islam but because she admired and revered him so much she was afraid of being specific and emphatic in her approach to inviting Amr Bin Jamuh to Islam.


His three children were not satisfied with just their own entry into Islam along with their mother. They were yearning to see the day when their father Amr Bin Jamuh would be a faithful, loyal and dignified muslim. So Mu’aaz, Mu’owaz and Khallad along with one of their friends Mu’aaz ibn Jabal  the famous companion of The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), who was young at that time but the same age as Mu’aaz, Mu’owaz and Khallad, sat behind closed doors one day and they decide on how to invite their father Amr Bin Jamuh to Islam. They all leave the room unanimous on 1 point. That our father honours and venerates his idol. His idol has a very special place in his heart. So the only way we will be able to communicate and invite him to Islam will be trough that idol. So the children had decided.


One night when Amr Bin Jamuh had gone to sleep, the children made their way in to the room where the idol was kept. They remove the idol from the shelf, they leave the house tip towing making sure there is no one aware of their movements. They take this idol and fling it into a whole, where the people would dump their rubbish. The next morning, their father Amr Bin Jamuh wakes up early to go to his idol to pray. When he walks into the room he is shocked to see that everything is in the room except his idol. Amr Bin Jamuh becomes enraged. He asks if any one knows and there is no reply. Amr Bin Jamuh is very sad, he is distressed, he is displeased. He leaves his house angry and enraged in search of his idol. He finds his idol dumped in the whole together with the garbage and dirt. Amr Bin Jamuh as old as he was, bends down with his hunched back and lame leg, taking support on his good leg and picks up his idol. He cleans it and washes it, he applies exclusive perfume and places back on the shelf.


That afternoon one of his sons Mu’aaz approaches his father and says,


“Father, have you heard of the speech that is conveyed by Musab ibn Umair?”


Amr Bin Jamuh says,


“O my son, wo be unto you. Have you left worshipping idol’s? Have denounced our religion and accepted the religion of Musab ibn Umair?


Mu’aaz negates what the father says and in return replies,


“O my father I have not entered into the faith of Islam, however I have met Musab ibn Umair and i am familiar with what he speaks.”


Amr Bin Jamuh asks,


“Have you memorised any of his statements?”


Mu’aaz replies,


“Yes o my father.”


Amr Bin Jamuh replies,


“O my son why don’t you recite some of the verses and mention some statements of his to me?”


Mu’aaz commences,


“With the name of Allah the most high the most merciful”

He then recites surah Fatiha.


As soon as these verses reach the ears of Amr Bin Jamuh he exclaims,


“O my son Mu’aaz, such beautiful are the words uttered by this young man. How outstanding and excellent are they. Is every statement of his like this?”


Mu’aaz seizes this opportunity and says to his father,


“His speech is much more remarkable than this. Every second verse that he says is more splendid and more excellent than the previous one.”


Amr Bin Jamuh pauses for a while and then say to his sone,


“O Mu’aaz, if you want me to accept the religion of this Musab ibn Umair. I will first need to consult with my idol.”


Mu’aaz leaves his father.


Amr Bin Jamuh returned to his idol and greeted it. Stood in front of it in a dignified and appropriate manner, as a devout worshipper and then he began speaking to his idol,


“O my beloved idol. You are well aware that there is a Musab ibn Umair in our city within our community and he intends to convert everyone in Madinah Tul Munawara to Islam. What is your input? What do you say about this religion Islam?”


This was an idol, made from marble or stone. It was never possible for an idol to speak.

Amr Bin Jamuh stood silently waiting for an answer, however he receives no answer. With tears in his eyes  Amr Bin Jamuh addresses his idol,


“O idol of mines it seems as though you are angry and upset with me. However i have not done anything that upsets and angers you. I will leave you for a few days while your anger subsides.”


The children of Amr Bin Jamuh were not satisfied with the progres with their father. They decide to take matters further. Once again they make their appearance in front of this idol. They snatch the idol from the shelf and take it out of the house once again. This time instead of throwing the idol into a whole that is full of rubbish. They take the idol to a deserted and ruined well near by. They tie the idol to the dead corpse of a dog and fling it into the depths of this well. They then return home as though nothing occurred.


The next morning when Amr Bin Jamuh wakes up. He searches for his idol.


“Wo be unto everyone, what has happened to my idol once again?


This invited stress and anger in the life of Amr Bin Jamuh. He was very fond of his idol which had once again disappeared. Amr Bin Jamuh leaves the house in search of his idol. He searches all the streets, looking here, there and everywhere but to no avail. He makes his way to this deserted well and he sees what his eyes could not believe. He seas his idol tied to the corpse of a dog. Amr Bin Jamuh, heart broken and emotional, bends down and picks up his idol, unties it and cleans it once again and returns home with tears flowing from his eyes. He places his idol on the shelf again, this time round unsheathing his sword, hangs it on his idol and says,


“I can not stand with you the whole night. If you have the ability and strength to protect and defend yourself then here is my sword. Defend yourself.”


But after all this was an idol that was made out of stone. An inanimate object, let alone speaking or defending, this was something that had no life in it.


There is a quote in Tafseer e Jalalain, In reference to the incident of Ibrahim AS. When ibrahim AS placed an ax on an idol. Its says,


“That idol, that has no power or strength to remove an ax or sword in the case of Amr Bin Jamuh. How does it then have the ability and the strength to remove calamities and atrocities from the lives of its worshippers.”


Never the less, Amr Bin Jamuh was tested in this way as an invitation to Islam by his children.


The next morning Amr Bin Jamuh sees that his idol is not there. He goes back to the well and sees his idol laying there with the sword still hanging from it, laying in a dilapidated fashion in this ruined well. This time round he is assured that this is an inanimate object. It does not have the ability of harming or benefiting. He then sings a few couplets in the Arabic language,


“O idol of mines, I swear by Allah if you were deserving of worship you would not be in this pitiful situation you are in. Hence I understand you are an inanimate object that was created by me. You have no unique powers in you. I believe in one Allah.”


He accepts the message of Islam at the hands of his three young children Mu’aaz, Muowaz and Khallad.


There was a time in the life of Amr Bin Jamuh when he was the worshipper of an inanimate object, however now Amr Bin Jamuh becomes the worshipper of Allah subhanahu wa ta’la. May Allah be please with Amr Bin Jamuh.


The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) migrated to Madinah Tul Munawara, where Amr Bin Jamuh makes his appearance in the presence of The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He places his hands in the hands of The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). This old hunched back weak Amr Bin Jamuh becomes a loyal, sincere and diligent companion of The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).


Amr Bin Jamuh remains in the service of The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and during the famous Battle of Uhad, the second battle of Islam. Amr Bin Jamuh sees his three children preparing to take part in the battle. He becomes green with envy. Tears roll down his eyes. He thinks to himself,


“O Allah if I was as energetic and as strong as my sons, then I would be preparing for this battle. Eventually becoming a martyr and and earning great reward as promised by the prophet and yourself O Allah”


Amr Bin Jamuh then starts preparing to take part in this battle. As crippled as he was, as old as Amr Bin Jamuh was, Even with the lame leg, did not prevent him from taking part in this virtuous and noble act. When his young children see their father preparing for battle, they say to him,


“O our beloved father, you are old, not just old you are weak and feeble. You have been excused from fighting in the battle. You will not be reprimanded by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, nor by his messenger for not taking part in The Battle of Uhad. You have been excused.”


Amr Bin Jamuh, with a cracked voice reprimanded and refuted his children by saying to them,


“You are preventing me from becoming a martyr. I want to meet my lord. I want to meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.”


Amr Bin Jamuh goes The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) holding his three children and says to The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him),


“O messenger of Allah. These children of mine are trying to prevent me from taking part in this battle. They say I am crippled, I am laim and I am old. O messenger of Allah I intend on walking in paradise with this lame leg of mine.”


The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says,


“Leave the old father of yours, It is possible, and i pray Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will grant him martyrdom.”


Amr Bin Jamuh took part in the battle. It is a lengthy inciden. When the battle commences, Amr Bin Jamuh is seen in the front lines of the battle. He throws himself in the thick of the enemy, walking and limping with his lame leg. Amr Bin Jamuh is granted his hearts desire. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accepts his desire, as when Amr Bin Jamuh left home to go to the battle field, he raised his hands and prayed to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.


“O Allah grant me martyrdom. O Allah grant me the honor and virtue of martyrdom. O Allah do not allow me to return home . Allow my body to be accepted by mount Uhad.”


Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accepted his prayer and Amr Bin Jamuh fell as a martyr during The Battle of Uhad.


After The Battle of Uhad, The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stood by the bodies of the martyr of The Battle of Uhad and said,


“Do not wash the bodies of these martyrs. Bury them with their blood on their bodies and their wounds. On the day of judgement I will stand next to them and I will intercede on their behalf. I will say to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, that these are those sacred soles that gave their lives and their wealth in your path. O Allah they deserve nothing but paradise.”


The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says,


“There is not a single individual who is wounded in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that stands to defend the cause of Islam, the speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the statements of The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), this pure pristine religion of Islam and he is wounded in the process, except that he will stand in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala on the day of judgement. Blood will be flowing from every wound of his, his colour will be the colour of saffron, however he will be smelling like musk.”


The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) buried the martyrs of Uhad with his own blessed hands and then threw soil over the body of Amr Bin Jamuh, tears rolling down the face, The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says to the people around him,


“I swear by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in whose control and whose power is my life. There are certain people from amongst you that if they take an oath on Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, will exonerate and absolve these individuals of their oath. From amongst these people is Amr Bin Jamuh. I swear by Allah, I have seen with my own eyes, Amr Bin Jamuh walking with his lame and crippled leg in the gardens of paradise.”


May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accept the martyrdom of Amr Bin Jamuh. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accept the endeavors of his three children, Mu’aaz, Mu’owaz and Khallad for their effort in inviting their father to Islam. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala resurrect us on the day of judgement with this loyal, faithful companion and the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).


Transcript done by Zubair Afzal

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