Abu Lahab, enemy of Islam, meets his fate

Updated 07 May 2015

Abu Lahab, enemy of Islam, meets his fate

Abu Lahab is the only person from the enemies of Islam who has been cursed by name in the Holy Qur’an. Although he was an uncle of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), he staunchly opposed Islam from the very beginning. When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) climbed Mount Safa and addressed the tribes and his clansmen saying: “O Banu ‘Abd Al-Muttalib, O Banu Fihr, O Banu Lu’ay; would you believe me if I say that there is an enemy at the foot of this mountain behind, ready to launch an attack on you”; will you believe me?” They said: “Yes. You are Al-Ameen (trustworthy) and Al-Sadiq (truthful) and we have never seen you speak lies. Soon, he declared Prophethood. The people dispersed murmuring silently, but Abu Lahab, who always loved his nephew Mohammed (S.A.W.), vehemently opposed him because he saw the message as a challenge to his leadership. He cried: “Perish be you... Did you gather us just for this?”
It was a great shock on the first day of the declaration of Prophethood and invitation to the true religion of Islam. Almighty Allah sealed Abu Lahab’s fate and later revealed Surah 111 in the Holy Quran reading:
“Perished be the hands of Abu Lahab and ruined he be,
Neither his wealth nor what he has earned shall avail him.
He shall shortly roast in a flaming fire.
And his wife — laden with faggots, Shall have a rope of palm fiber round her neck. (Al Qur'an 111:1-5)
Abu Lahab lived for 12 years after the declaration of Islam and saw many leading personalities like his brother (amir) Hamza and (amirul-momineen) Umar bin Khattab embracing Islam, but he never did. It was a good chance for him to embrace Islam and thus challenge the words of the Holy Qur’an. And how could he do that when Almighty Allah had proclaimed it. It is this verse which led a westerner to embrace Islam in our times.
Abu Lahab, son of Abdul Muttalib, was born in Makkah. His original name was Abdul Uzza. In the beginning, he loved his nephew, Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.) and sent his maid named Thawbiyah to suckle the child. Later, he also contracted Nikaah of two of his sons with the two daughters of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) named Ruqayya and Umm Kulthum but they were not sent home as they were minors. But after the Qur'anic revelation against him, so furious was he that he instructed his sons to divorce the two daughters.
Later, the Prophet's first daughter was married to Uthman bin Affan, the third caliph of Islam. Uthman married the Prophet's other daughter when one passed away. Once Utaibah, one of his sons, tried to disgrace the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) who prayed: “May Allah set upon you one of His dogs.” So scared was Abu Lahab with the Prophet’s words that while on a journey, he placed his son in the middle of the people out of fear of the Prophet’s words. However, a lion came by midnight, went straight to his son and sank his teeth in his neck killing him on the spot.
When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) invited people to Islam by saying: O People, say there is no god but Allah and be prosperous, Abu Lahab would follow him and tell the people not to believe him. He was nicknamed Abu Lahab for his red face but Islam termed him as ‘father of the flames.’ When the Pagans boycotted the Holy Prophet, the whole clan of Banu Hashem, including Muslims and non-Muslims, supported him and suffered in Shoab Bani Talib for a long time. But Abu Lahab was the only member of Banu Hashem who supported the pagans and separated himself from the clan.
His wife, Arwa bint Harb, nicknamed Umm Jameel, was the sister of the then enemy of Islam, Abu Sufyan. Although real aunt, she used to throw thorny bushes in the path of the Prophet (S.A.W.). The Holy Qur’an chastised both Abu Lahab and his wife in Surah Masad and both of them died a miserable death as disbelievers.
He could not join the famous Battle of Badr but sent in his place Abu Jahl’s brother who owed him 4,000 dirhams, and promised to waive the debt. When the news of pagans’ defeat reached Makkah, he fell ill. Later, he developed the contagious disease of smallpox. He died a week later in 02 AH. His family left his decaying body in his home for two or three nights until neighbors rebuked his sons. “It is disgraceful. You should be ashamed of leaving your father to rot in his house.” They hired slaves to remove his body. It was washed from a distance, then pushed with poles into a pit outside Makkah and stones were thrown over it.
Abu Lahab’s elder son, Utba, embraced Islam after the conquest of Makkah. He was well received by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). He spent his life as a good Muslim and received the honorable title of Sahabi. Abu Lahab’s daughter Durrah also embraced Islam and became a narrator of Hadith. She narrated a Hadith, which has been reported by Imam Ahmad Hanbal in his Musnad: “A man got up and asked the Prophet (S.A.W), ‘who is the best of the people?’ He answered, ‘The best of the people is the most learned, most God-fearing, most to be enjoining virtue, most to be prohibiting vice and the most to be joining the kin.’”
There were five staunch enemies of Islam — Abu Jehal, Abu Lahab, Hind bint Utba, Wahshi slave and Abu Sufyan of Makkah. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) dealt with profound love and mercy with their descendants. Ikrema bin Abu Jehal embraced Islam and fought for Islam. Utba bin Abu Lahab embraced Islam and spent a good life. Hind embraced Islam and his son Ameer Muaviyah founded the Muaviyah ruling dynasty in Islamic history.
Wahshi, the killer of Ameer Hamza, embraced Islam and killed the imposter Musailma Kaddab in Najd. Abu Sufyan embraced Islam and fought for Islam till the Battle of Yarmuk. His daughter, Umm Habiba, was married to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W). Khalid bin Waleed and Amr bin Aas embraced Islam and fought battles for Islam. Their descendants also served for this noble cause. At a later stage, the warrior nations of Tatars and Turks, who fought Muslims for centuries, finally embraced Islam and fought in favor of the religion. They established the powerful ruling dynasties of Mughals and Turkish caliphate.

Gospels lead us to the Qur’an

Updated 23 September 2016

Gospels lead us to the Qur’an

Brandon Yusuf Toropov gives a vivid account of his personal quest to study the most authentic verses of the Bible — the Q verses — and his coming into the fold of Islam. Thhis is the concluding part of his story.

I WAS interested in the research being done that indicated that the oldest strata of the Gospels reflected an extremely early oral source known as Q (the Q source: Q from German, Quelle, meaning ‘source,’ is a hypothetical written collection of Jesus’s sayings) and that each of the individual sayings of Jesus (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him) needed to be evaluated on its own merits, and not as part of the narrative material that surrounded it. This is because that narrative material was added many years later.

Wresting with the doctrine of the Trinity: The more I looked at these sayings, the more impossible it became for me to reconcile the notion of the Trinity with that which seemed most authentic to me in the Gospels. I found myself face-to-face with some very difficult questions. Where in the Gospels did Jesus use the word “Trinity”? If Jesus was God, as the doctrine of the Trinity claims, why did he worship God? And, if Jesus was God, why in the world would he say something like the following? “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark, 10:18) Did he somehow forget that he himself was God when he said this?

The Holy Qur’an: In November of 2002, I began to read a translation of the Qur’an. I had never read an English translation of the entire text of the Qur’an before. I had only read summaries of the Qur’an written by non-Muslims. (And very misleading summaries at that.)
Words do not adequately describe the extraordinary effect that this book had on me. Suffice to say that the very same magnetism that had drawn me to the Gospels at the age of 11 was present in a new and deeply imperative form. This book was telling me, just as I could tell Jesus had been telling me, about matters of ultimate concern. The Qur’an was offering authoritative guidance and compelling responses to the questions I had been asking for years about the Gospels.
“It is not (possible) for any human being to whom God has given the Book and wisdom and prophethood to say to the people: ‘Be my worshippers rather than God’s.’ On the contrary, (he would say): ‘Be devoted worshippers of your Lord, because you are teaching the Book and you are studying it.’ Nor would he order you to take angels and prophets for lords. Would he order you to disbelieve after you have submitted to God’s will?” (Qur’an, 3:79-80)
The Qur’an drew me to its message because it so powerfully confirmed the sayings of Jesus that I felt in my heart had to be authentic. Below, you will find just a few examples of the parallels that made my heart pliant to the worship of God. Each Gospel verse comes from the reconstructed text known as Q, a text that today’s scholars believe represents the earliest surviving strata of the teachings of the Messiah. Note how close this material is to the Qur’anic message.

On monotheism: In Q, Jesus endorses a rigorous monotheism. “Get thee behind me, Satan: For it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’” (Luke, 4:8) Compare: “Children of Adam, did We not command you not to worship Satan? He was your sworn enemy. Did We not command you to worship Me and tell you that this is the straight path?” (Qur’an, 36:60-61)

On Aqaba: Q identifies a right path that is often difficult, a path that unbelievers will choose not to follow. “Enter ye in through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there are who go in there. Narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew, 7:13-14) Compare: “The worldly life is made to seem attractive to the disbelievers who scoff at the faithful, but the pious, in the life Hereafter, will have a position far above them…” (Qur’an, 2:212)

On Taqwa: Q warns us to fear only the judgment of God. “And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear. Fear Him, which after He hath killed, hath the power to cast into Hell. Yea, I say unto you, fear Him!” (Luke, 12:4-5) Compare: “To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. God’s retribution is severe. Should you then have fear of anyone other than God?” (Qur’an, 16:52)

Earthly life: In Q, Jesus warns humanity plainly that earthly advantages and pleasures should not be the goal of our lives: “Woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation. Woe unto you who are full! You shall be hungry. Woe unto you who laugh now! You shall weep and mourn.” (Luke, 6:24) Compare: “The desire to have increase of worldly gains has preoccupied you so much (that you have neglected the obligation of remembering God) – until you come to your graves! You shall know. You shall certainly know (about the consequences of your deeds.) You will certainly have the knowledge of your deeds beyond all doubt. You will be shown hell, and you will see it with your own eyes. Then, on that day, you shall be questioned about the bounties (of God).” (Qur’an, 102:1-8)

Crucifixion: We are left then with an amazing early Gospel, a Gospel that (non-Muslim) scholars believe is historically closest to Jesus, a Gospel that has the following characteristics: Agreement with the Qur’an’s uncompromising message of God’s Oneness; agreement with the Qur’an’s message of an afterlife of salvation or hellfire ... based on our earthly deeds; agreement with the Qur’an’s warning not to be misled by dunya, the attractions and pleasures of worldly life. A complete absence of any reference to Christ’s death on the cross, resurrection, or sacrifice for humanity! This is the Gospel that today’s most advanced non-Muslim scholars have identified for us ... and this Gospel is pointing us, if only we will listen to it, in precisely the same direction as the Qur’an! I became a Muslim on March 20, 2003. It became obvious to me that I had to share this message with as many thoughtful Christians as I could.