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April 10, 2023
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Abdullah ibn Hudhafah and The Roman King | Become Christian Or Be Thrown Into Boiling Oil

It is better and preferable for the Muslim to remain steadfast in his religion, even if that leads to him being killed, as was mentioned by Al-Hafiz Ibn `Asakir in his biography of `Abdullah bin Hudhafah Al-Sahmi, one of the Companions.

In the nineteenth year after the Hijrah, ‘Umar dispatched an army to fight against the Byzantines. In it was ‘Abdullah ibn Hudhafah As-Sahmi. News of the Muslim force reached the Byzantine emperor, Heraclius. He had heard of their sincerity of faith, and their willingness to sacrifice their lives in the way of Allah and His Prophet. He gave orders to his men to bring to him any Muslim captives they might take alive..

God willed that ‘Abdullah ibn Hudhafah should fall captive to the Byzantines and he was brought before the Emperor. The Emperor looked at ‘Abdullah for a long time. Suddenly he said, “I shall make a proposal to you.” “What is it?” asked Abdullah. “I suggest that you become a Christian. If you do this, you will be set free and I shall grant you a safe refuge.” The prisoner’s reaction was furious: “Death is preferable to me a thousand times to what you ask me to do.” “I see that you are a bold man. However, if you respond positively to what I propose to you, I will give you a share in my authority and swear you in as my aide.” The prisoner, shackled in his chains, smiled and said, “By Allah, if you give me all that you possess and all that the Arabs have in exchange for giving up the religion of Muhammad (sallaAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), I shall not do so.” “Then I shall kill you.” “Do what you want,” answered ‘Abdullah. The emperor then had him put on a cross and ordered his soldiers to throw spears at him, first near his hands and then near his feet, all the while telling him to accept Christianity or at least give up his religion. This he refused over and over again to do.

The emperor then had him taken down from the wooden cross. He called for a great pot to be brought. This was filled with oil which was then heated under a fierce fire. He then had two other Muslim prisoners brought and had one of them thrown into the boiling oil. The prisoner’s flesh sizzled and soon his bones could be seen. The emperor turned to ‘Abdullah and invited him to Christianity. This was the most terrible test that ‘Abdullah had had to face up till now. But he remained firm and the emperor gave up trying. He then ordered that ‘Abdullah too be thrown into the pot. As he was being taken away he began to shed tears. The emperor thought that he had at last been broken and had him brought back to him. He once more suggested that ‘Abdullah become a Christian but to his astonishment, Abdullah refused. “Damn you! Why did you weep then?” shouted the emperor. “I cried,” said Abdullah, “because I said to myself ‘You will now be thrown into this pot and your soul will depart’. What I really desired then was to have as many souls as the number of hairs on my body and to have all of them thrown into this pot for the sake of Allah.”

The tyrant then said, “Will you kiss my head? I will then set you free?” “And all the Muslim prisoners also?” asked ‘Abdullah. This the emperor agreed to do and ‘Abdullah said to himself, “One of the enemies of Allah! I shall kiss his head and he shall set me and all other Muslim prisoners free. There can be no blame on me for doing this.” He then went up to the emperor and kissed his forehead. All the Muslim prisoners were released and handed over to ‘Abdullah. ‘Abdullah ibn Hudhafah eventually came to ‘Umar ibn al Khattab and told him what had happened. ‘Umar was greatly pleased and when he looked at the prisoners he said, “Every Muslim has a duty to kiss the head of ‘Abdullah ibn Hudhafah and I shall start.” Umar then got up and kissed the head of ‘Abdullah ibn Hudhafah.

Source: “Companions of The Prophet”, Vol.1 by ‘Abdul Wahid Hamid

Arabic:

وفي السنة التاسعة عشرة للهجرة بعث سيدنا عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه جيشا لحرب الروم فيه عبد الله بن حذافة وكان قيصر الروم قد تناهت إليه أخبار المسلمين وما يتحلون به من صدق الإيمان واسترخاص النفس في سبيل الله ورسوله ، فأمر رجاله إذا ظفروا بأسير من أسرى المسلمين أن يبقوا عليه وأن يأتو به حيا وكان عبد الله بن حذافة ممن وقع في الأسر.
نظر ملك الروم إلى عبد الله بن حذافة طويلا ثم بادره قائلا : إني أعرض عليك أمراً !!
قال : وما هو ؟
فقال : أعرض عليك أن تتنصر … فإن فعلت خليت سبيلك ، وأكرمت مثواك ، فقال الأسير في أنفة وحزم : هيهات .. إن الموت لأحب إلي ألف مرة مما تدعوني إليه.
فقال قيصر : إني لأراك رجلا شهما … فإن أجبتني إلى ما أعرضه عليك أشركتك في أمري وقاسمتك سلطاني . فتبسم الأسير المكبل بقيوده وقال : والله لو أعطيتني جميع ما تملك ، وجميع ما ملكته العرب على أن أرجع عن دين محمد طرفة عين ما فعلت.
قال : إذن أقتلك.
قال : أنت وما تريد ، ثم أمر به فصلب ، وقال لقناصته – بالرومية – ارموه قريبا من رجليه ، وهو يعرض عليه مفارقة دينه فأبى.
عند ذلك أمرهم أن يكفوا عنه ، وطلب إليهم أن ينزلوه عن خشبة الصلب ، ثم دعا بقدر عظيمة فصب فيها الزيت ورفعت على النار حتى غلت ثم دعا بأسيرين من أسارى المسلمين ، فأمر بأحدهما أن يلقى فيها فألقي ، فإذا لحمه يتفتت ، وإذا عظامه تبدو عارية…
ثم التفت إلى عبد الله بن حذافة ودعاه إلى النصرانية ، فكان أشد إباء لها من قبل.
فلما يأس منه ، أمر به أن يلقى في القدر التي ألقي فيها صاحباه فلما ذهب به دمعت عيناه ، فقال رجال قيصر لملكهم : إنه قد بكى … فظن أنه قد جزع وقال : ردوه إلي ، فلما مثل بين يديه عرض عليه النصرانية فأبى ، فقال : ويحك ، فما الذي أبكاك إذا؟!
فقال : أبكاني أني قلت في نفسي : تلقى الآن في هذه القدر ، فتذهب بنفسك ، وقد كنت أشتهي أن يكون لي بعدد ما في جسدي من شعر أنفس فتلقى كلها في هذا القدر في سبيل الله .
فقال الطاغية : هل لك أن تقبل رأسي وأخلي عنك؟
فقال له عبد الله : وعن جميع أسارى المسلمين أيضا ؟
قال : وعن جميع أسارى المسلمين أيضا.
قال عبد الله : فقلت في نفسي : عدو من اعداء الله ، أقبل رأسه فيخلي عني وعن أسارى المسلمين جميعا ، لا ضير في ذلك علي. ثم دنا منه وقبل رأسه ، فأمر ملك الروم أن يجمعوا له أسارى المسلمين ، وأن يدفعوهم إليه فدفعوا له.
قدم عبد الله بن حذافة على عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه ، وأخبره خبره ، فسر به الفاروق أعظم السرور ، ولما نظر إلى الأسرى قال : حق على كل مسلم أن يقبل رأس عبد الله بن حذافة .. وأنا أبدأ بذلك…
ثم قام وقبل رأسه …

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