Salama bin Hisham (r.a.)

When the light of guidance that enlightened the horizons of Makkah was reflected on the hearts, a few people approached the lucid spring of Islam that cured people every day, drank that elixir of life and attained real relief and welfare by getting rid of the filth of ignorance and oppression that rusted their souls. At that time, humanity was in such a poor and ridiculous state that people did things that would disgust even animals and committed all kinds of mean deeds though they seemed to be human beings. The lofty Messenger, who removed some of them from the scary paw of the polytheism and placed them on the friendly and compassionate bosom and merciful arms of Islam, proved that he was the real savior of humanity.

Thanks to Islam, such a strong and eternal relationship and fraternity was established among people that the previous connection of kinship and relation between the unbelievers and believers disappeared. A polytheistic father regarded his believing son as his biggest enemy; a faithless brother regarded his brother who chose Islam as his most ferocious foe.

This exemplary situation was seen among the five sons of Hisham. Salama and Harith became Muslims but their brothers Abu Jahl, As and Khalid were the leaders of the faithless group.[1]

When Abu Jahl heard that his older brother Salama became a believer, his kinship was transformed into enmity; he could not put with the idea of one of his family members joining Hz. Muhammad (pbuh). He did everything to dissuade Salama but whatever he did was unfruitful. Was it possible for a person who experienced the lofty pleasure of belief to return and accept the poison of unbelief?

Hz. Salama could not put up with the acts of his cruel brother. He joined the group that migrated to Abyssinia. Although they were away from their houses and homeland, their lives and religion were safe.

When three months (the months of Rajab, Shaban and Ramadan) passed after their migration to Abyssinia, they heard some news: “Makkan people became Muslims. Walid bin Mughira also believed.”

They talked to one another: “If they became Muslims, who else remained as non-Muslims in Makkah?” Some of them decided to return. They said, “It is better to live in our own tribe and nation.” However, when they approached Makkah, they found out that the news they had heard was wrong; they became disappointed.

It was not possible to enter Makkah randomly. To enter Makkah means to accept the torture and suffering to be inflicted upon them in advance. Most of them thought of going under the protection of their relatives in Makkah in order to get rid of this danger. In that case, they would be accepted as a kind of "refugees". As a matter of fact, some of them did so. Others entered Makkah secretly; they did not make themselves noticed. However, some of those who were not under the protection of anyone hid themselves for a while but they were eventually captured by the polytheists. Among those Muslims who were imprisoned by the polytheists were Salama bin Hisham, Walid bin Rabia, Hisham bin As, Abdullah bin Suhayl and a few more Companions.[2]

Hz. Salama, Ayyash and Hisham, who were tortured by their relatives and who were exposed to all kinds of oppression for a long time, could not become free even when the order to migrate to Madinah was announced. Therefore, Salama could not take part in the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq.

His full brother Abu Jahl tortured Hz. Salama bin Hisham again and again. He beat Salam until he got tired, insulted him and left him hungry and thirsty for days, agonizing him. His aim in oppressing and torturing him so much was this thought of his: “Maybe he will not be able to put up with it any longer and he will exit his religion.” However, Hz. Salama had such a strong belief as to challenge the universe and an endless love of the Messenger of Allah. He put up with the torture inflicted upon him for many years without showing any hesitation in his belief, in patience and determination.[3]

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh), who knew the grievous state of this believing mujahids and who felt their trouble in his heart, repeated the following prayer for a month after the morning prayer:

“O Allah! Rescue Walid bin Walid!  O Allah! Rescue Salama bin Hisham! O Allah! Rescue Ayyash bin Rabia! O Allah! Rescue the weak believers!”[4]

These three Companions, who were imprisoned by Makkan polytheists, were cousins. Mughira was their grandfather. When Walid bin Walid became a Muslim and went to Makkah, he was imprisoned; Ayyash bin Rabia was deceived by Abu Jahl during migration, captured and tortured. These three Companions were held    together. They tied them to one another. Hz. Walid managed to escape and went to Madinah. When the Prophet asked Walid about his cousins Salama and Ayyash, Hz. Walid said they were tied to each other from their feet and that they were under severe agony and torture.

The Prophet wanted these wronged Muslims to be saved from the polytheists. Once, he said to the Companions, “Who will save them and bring them to Madinah? Hz. Walid stood up at once and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I will save them and bring them to you.”

Hz. Walid went to Makkah and entered the city secretly. He found out the place where they were imprisoned from a woman who took them food. They were kept in a place with four walls but no ceiling.  Walid got there at night and cut off the rope that they were tied with. He made them get on his camel and took them out of Makkah. The polytheists who noticed that they had escaped went after them but they could not find them. These three Muslims, who had been suffering for a long time, arrived in Madinah three days later. When they arrived, they were in a terrible position.

When Hz. Walid arrived in Madinah with his two friends, whom he had saved; their toes had been in pieces and blood. When the Prophet saw that these two distinguished Companions had been saved, he became very happy.[5]

Hz. Salama felt easy after that. He started to learn and to be illuminated by the luminous circle of the Messenger of Allah. He stayed in Madinah until the death of the Prophet. During the caliphate of Hz. Abu Bakr, he was among the mujahids who joined the Expedition of Syria. He was martyred in the Battle of Marj as-Sufr, which took place in the month of Muharram of the 14th year of the Migration, during the caliphate of Hz. Umar.[6]

May Allah be pleased with him!


[1] al-Istiab, 2: 85.
[2] Sirah, 2: 3-6.
[3] Tabaqat, 4: 130.
[4] Muslim, Masajid: 294-296.
[5] Sirah, 2: 120.
[6] Usd al-Ghaba, 2: 341-342.

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