How did Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas become a Muslim and what kind of tortures were inflicted upon him by his mother due to his belief?

The Details of the Question

How did Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas become a Muslim and what kind of tortures were inflicted upon him by his mother due to his belief?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas was only a 17 year old young man filled with excitement and energy. During this period, he saw a dream:

While he was in pitch-black darkness, a bright moon rose instantly and he began to follow a moon-lit road. Afterwards, on the same road, he saw that Zaid bin Harith, Hazrat Ali, and Hazrat Abu Bakr were walking ahead of him.

He asked them, “When did you all come here?” and they responded, “Now.”1

Three days after his dream, Hazrat Abu Bakr, who showed remarkable exertion and zeal during the era of secret conversions, mentioned Islam to him. Afterwards, Hazrat Abu Bakr took him to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence and after receiving knowledge on Islam from the Master of the Universe (PBUH), he immediately became a Muslim.2

Both his mother’s and father’s pedigrees were connected to our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Since the family of Hazrat Sad’s mother belonged to the Sons of Zuhra, Hazrat Sad was considered to be our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) maternal uncle. For that reason, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) paid Hazrat Sad a great compliment by saying, “Here is my uncle, Sad. If anyone has an uncle like him, then he should show me.”3

Hazrat Sa’d and his Mother

Hazrat Sad’s mother was not pleased by her son’s conversion to Islam. How could her son abandon the religion of his forefathers and follow a new religion without her consent? Hamna was aware of the respect and attachment that her son had towards her. She was determined to dissuade him from Islam and have him return to idolatry. One day she said to him:

“Are  you not the one who says that God commands you to take care of your relatives and to show continuous kindness to and do favors for your parents?”

“Yes”, replied Hazrat Sad.

Upon hearing this response, Hamna expressed her true purpose with the following words:

“By God, until you disavow what Muhammad has brought forth, I am not going to put anything into my mouth until I die from thirst and hunger. The people are going to blame you for murdering your mother.”

Until that day, Hazrat Sad had submitted to all of his mother’s wishes and had always pampered her. However, he had now testified to Allah and had submitted to His Messenger (PBUH) with the fullest sincerity in his heart. And of course, everything was going to be ranked in accordance with his faith.

When Hazrat Sad saw that his mother was refraining from eating and drinking, he went by her side and said,

“Oh mother, even if you had 100 lives and were to sacrifice each one so that I would denounce Islam, I would still keep firm with my faith. Now, if you wish, you can eat or choose not do so.”4

Upon hearing this answer, Hamna’s stubbornness melted against Hazrat Sad’s steady faith in the truth; she quickly began to eat and drink. Once again, disbelief and polytheism were crushed and defeated by faith and the greatness of Tawhid (the doctrine of Oneness of God).

Allah presented an eternal criterion for the believers by sending down the eighth verse of Surah al-Ankabut upon this incident that took place between Hazrat Sad and his mother:

“We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.”5

This time, Hamna made another attempt to turn her son away from Islam: One day while Hazrat Sad was praying in his home, his mother called the neighbors to imprison him by having them all shut the door. In the meantime, Hamna, whose heart had been so hardened by polytheism that she could torture her own beloved child, shouted:

“He will either abandon the religion that he has entered or die!”

By looking at this example, it is possible to understand that a mother can torture her own son when her heart has been darkened from disbelief and wickedness and when it is devoid of compassion and mercy!

Every attempt that had taken place had counteracted Hamna’s interests since Hazrat Sad’s son, Amir, had followed his father’s tracks and became Muslim...
This time, Hamna, who had become completely ill-tempered, took Amir by the scruff of his neck:

“I am not going to rest under the shade of this date tree nor am I going to eat and drink until you leave the religion you are following!”

As soon as he heard his mother’s vow, Hazrat Sad, who had experienced the unbounded pleasure of having faith in Allah and submitting to His Messenger (PBUH), went to his mother and said:

“Oh mother, do not you dare rest under the shade nor eat and drink until you reach the station of hellfire.”6

Hamna could not manage to do anything but keep silent in the face of this phenomenal amount of faith and unwavering perseverance and willpower.


1. Ibn Athir, Usdu'l-Ghaba: 2/292
2. Ibn Hishm, Sirah: 1/266; Ibn Sa'd; Tabaqat: 3/139; Tabari, Tarikh: 2/216
3. Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 2, p. 33; Ibn Athir, ibid, V. 2, p. 291.
4. Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 2, p. 31; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1, p. 280.

5. According to the decree in this verse, the child (offspring) is obliged to adhere to his/her parents’ commands that do not go beyond the bounds of Islam and are legitimate. This kind of obedience is required of the offspring/child. Otherwise, if a parent commands and encourages his/her child to commit deeds that are illegitimate and that go beyond the bounds of Islam, then it is incumbent on one to not obey  because: “Servants are not to be obeyed and their commands are not to be met when they advocate something that necessitates disobedience to Allah.” (Nasafi, Tafsir: 3/251)

6. Ibn Athir, ibid, V. 2, p. 292.

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