Download PDF: [S] The Conversation of Abu Sufyan

This incident is reported by Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas bin Abdul Mutallib – may Allah be pleased with them.  He narrates that once, he travelled with Abu Sufyan to Yemen on a business mission. During their stay in Yemen, it was a habit between them to prepare food on alternative days. One day, he and his companions prepared food for the caravan of Abu Sufyan and Abu Sufyan prepared food and brought the food to their camp on another day.


Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas bin Abdul Mutallib – may Allah be pleased with them – narrates:


One day it was my turn and I was about to prepare the food for the evening when Abu Sufyan bin Harb approached me and said, “O Abu Fadl! Would it not be nice if this evening you came to my camp and prepared the food there?”


I replied that this would not be a problem. My other companions and I then went to the camp of Abu Sufyan and the entire food for the evening was prepared and certain items were also purchased at that camp. When we completed eating and everyone had left, Abu Sufyan asked me to remain behind. After a few minutes, he said to me, “Are you aware that your nephew has made a claim that he is a Prophet of God?”


I then asked him which nephew of mine he was speaking about. However, Abu Sufyan replied, “It seems like you are hiding something from me. Besides one nephew, which other nephew can it be?”


I then asked him to please explain exactly which nephew of mine he was speaking about. He replied, “You nephew, Muhammad, who is the son of your brother Abdullah.


I then said that there was nothing of this nature which had occurred.


A private conversation between Abu Sufyan Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas bin Abdul Mutallib – may Allah be pleased with them.


Abu Sufyan however, insisted that my nephew had certainly made the claim that he was a Prophet of Allah Almighty. He then took out a letter which was given to him by his son, Hanzalah bin Abi Sufyan, and allowed me to read the contents of this letter. In this letter it was written that, “Without doubt, Muhammad had stood in the valley of Mecca and announced to the people that, ‘I am the Prophet of Allah Almighty and I call you people to Allah Almighty.’”


I then said to Abi Hanzalah, perhaps he is speaking the truth. However, Abu Sufyan quickly interjected, “Perhaps, you should remain silent. By God, do not say such words. I have fear that perhaps without even thinking, you might even start to follow him and accept his message.”


He then added, “O Banu Abdul Mutallib. By Allah Almighty, it is the claim of the Quraish that you people (the Banu Abdul Mutallib) are either an ill omen or also a good omen. O Abdul Mutallib, I ask you in the name of God, have you heard something like this?”


I replied that I had indeed heard such words. Abu Sufyan then said that this means that Muhammad is going to be an ill omen for you.


After this conversation, a few days later, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Huzaafah – may Allah be pleased with him – also arrived with the news in Yemen that indeed the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – had given the news of Islam to everyone and that he, himself had accepted Islam. Suddenly, the news of this new religion spread all over Yemen.


One day, it so happened that Abu Sufyan was sitting with a Jewish priest and he asked, “O Abu Sufyan! This news which has reached me, what is the reality behind this?”


Abu Sufyan mentioned that this was the same news which had also reached him.


The Jewish priest asked who the uncle of this person in this caravan was. Abu Sufyan replied that he was the uncle of this person. The Jewish priest then asked him whether he was the actual brother of this person’s father and he replied that yes he was the brother of his father.


The Jewish priest then asked him to describe the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.  Abu Sufyan replied, “Do not even think of asking me such a question because not in my wildest dream I had imagined that my nephew would make such a claim. I also do not mean to insult him, but there are others who are also not better than him.”


The Jewish priest then said that if this was the case than he (Abu Sufyan) had nothing to fear and that even the Jews should not be troubled in any manner by the appearance of this person.


Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that when he had heard about this conversation between the Jewish priest and the Abu Sufyan, he decided the next day to also go and join in this conversation.


I then said to the Jewish priest that I heard that he had asked about the uncle of this person who had made a claim of Prophethood. Abu Sufyan mentioned that, “He is not his uncle but I am his uncle. He is actually the blood brother of this person who made a claim of Prophethood.”


The Jewish priest then asked me, “Are you really the blood brother of this person’s father?” I replied that yes I was the blood brother of this person’s father. The Jewish priest then looked at Abu Sufyan and asked him whether this was true.


Abu Sufyan replied that yes it was true. I then said to this Jewish priest, “Whatever you wish to ask about my nephew, you may ask and if I speak any lies, then Abu Sufyan is present who would correct me.”


The Jewish priest then turned to me and asked, “I ask you in the Name of Allah Almighty, has any news ever reached you that your nephew performs actions such as those performed by children or immature people?”


I replied, “No, no, I swear by the Divine Being, Who is the Divine Being of Abdul Mutallib, he has never ever spoken a lie, he had never been deceitful and the Quraish themselves know him as ‘Al Ameen’.”


The Jewish priest then asked me, “Has he even written something with his own hands?”


Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that he wanted to reply in the affirmative when he took hold of himself and replied, “No, he is also unable to write.”


The death of the Jews.


When the Jewish priest heard this, he immediately stood up and leaving aside his shawl, he screamed out aloud, “The Jews have been slaughtered, the Jews have been murdered.”


Hadrat Sayyiduna Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates further that when they arrived at their camp site, Abu Sufyan informed him, “O Abul Fadl! Your nephew has certainly struck fear in this Jew!”


I said to him, “Why not, even you have brought faith in him. If was a true Prophet, you would be the first to accept him and if he is false, then there are others like him who are also with you.”


Abu Sufyan replied, “By Allah! I cannot accept him until I do not see something which arrives on the Mountain Kaddah (which is a mountain in Mecca Shareef).”


I asked him what he meant by this and he replied, “By Allah! These words have appeared from my tongue unintentionally. I did not say this intentionally. Yes, I have certainty said that the Allah Almighty would not allow the horses to pass by the Mountain of Kaddu.”


However, when the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – passed by the mountain of Kaddu on his way to conquer Mecca, at that moment, I said to Abu Sufyan, “O Abu Sufyan! Do you remember those words which you had mentioned to me?” Abu Sufyan replied, “By Allah Almighty! I remember those words very clearly. I give thanks to Allah Almighty that He has guided me through Islam.” (Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah, 3/525)