Who was the Companion who asked Qisas (retaliation) from the Prophet?

The Details of the Question

Is there an incident in which a Companion asked retaliation from the Prophet and wanted to kiss him on the abdomen? Who is this Companion and why did he do so?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Answer 1:

Yes, such an incident took place but he wanted to kiss the seal of prophethood on the back of the Prophet not his abdomen. 

There is a widespread view that Hz. Ukkasha kissed the seal of prophethood of the Messenger of Allah.

According to a narration, the Prophet asked people to forgive him if he had violated the rights of anybody and wanted them to come to him and to demand anything he owed them just before his death. Thereupon, a Companion called Ukkasha said,  “The Messenger of Allah hit his naked back with the whip, maybe intentionally or maybe by mistake while hitting his camel, and that he wanted retaliation for it now.”

When the Prophet opened his back, Ukkasha looked at the seal of prophethood and kissed it. He said his aim was to kiss it. (see Majmauz-Zawaid, h. no: 14253)

However, Hafiz Haythami states that this narration, which Tabarani included in al-Kebir (h. no.2676) was weak. (see Majmauz-Zawaid)

The true version of the incident is that the person who kissed the seal of prophethood of the Messenger of Allah was Hz. Usayd b. KHudayr.

Hz. Usayd b. Hudayr narrates the incident as follows:

"Usayd b. Hudayr was addressing a group of people. He was a joker. At one point, he made them laugh. The Prophet (pbuh) poked him with a stick slightly. Thereupon, Usayd said to the Prophet,

O Messenger of Allah! Let me take retaliation (due to poking me with the stick). (Hz. Prophet said):

Take retaliation. (Usayd):

You were wearing a shirt but I was not wearing a shirt (when youpoked me with the stick).

Hz. Prophet rolled his shirt up in order to allow him to take retaliation.

Thereupon, heembraced the Prophet and began to kiss his back. He said,

O Messenger of Allah! This is what I wanted. (Abu Dawud, Adab, 149)

Thus, Hz. Usayd, who was famous for being a joker, kissed theseal of prophethood of the Prophet by benefitting from the joke of the Prophet.

Accordingly, it is permissible to kiss the back of a person. As a matter of fact, Ayni, who is a Hanafi scholar, said, "Thus, it was known that kissing a person’s hand, foot, head and back was permissible." (Ayni, Binaya, IX, 326)

Answer 2:

The seal of prophethood is a mole between the two shoulder blades of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) that is regarded as one of the signs of his prophethood.

The seal of prophethood is regarded as both evidence for the prophethood of the Messenger of Allah and a sign of his being the last prophet in the books of siyar, shamail, khasais and dalail an-nubuwwah. As a matter of fact, seal is generally stamped at the end of written documents and indicates that the last word was said. That the Messenger of Allah is called khatam an-nabiyyin (the seal of the prophets) (al-Ahzab 33/40) is explained both as him being the last prophet that ended prophethood and as divine evidence approving (sealing) the prophethood of all prophets. (Elmalılı, Hak Dini, VI, 3906)

It is stated in hadith and siyar resources that there was a mole (piece of flesh) in the form of a red gland as big as a dove’s or partridge’s egg that is swollen enough to be felt by the hand between the two shoulder blades of Hz. Muhammad nearer to the left shoulder blade and that it is called the seal of prophethood. (Musnad, V, 107; Bukhari, Wudu, 40; Muslim, Fadail, 110; Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 11)

Answer 3:

Hereby, we will narrate the lives of both Companions in brief:

a) Abu Yahya Usayd b. Hudayr b. Simak al-Ashhali (d. 20/641)

He was among the first Muslims of Madinah.

He is a member of the clan of Sons of Abdulashhal of the Aws tribe.

His father, Hudayr al-Kataib, who was one of the notables of his tribe could read and write. He was the commander of the Aws tribe in Buath War, which took place six years before the Migration between the tribes of Aws and Khazraj; and he was killed in this war. His mother was Umm Usayd bint Sakan.

It is mentioned that the Prophet addressed Usayd as Abu Isa (Ibn Abdulbah, I, 54), and there are four different narrations about his nickname.

Usayd b. Hudayr  accepted Islam through Mus'ab Umayr, who was sent to Madinah  after the First Pledge of Aqaba, and he became a means for Sa'd b. Muadh, who was  the son of his paternal uncle and the leader of Aws tribe on the same day.

He was one of the three people who represented the tribe of Aws among the twelve representatives chosen by the Messenger of Allah in the Second Pledge of Aqaba He was declared brothers with Zayd b. Haritha after the Migration.

He did not attend the Battle of Badr because he did not know that the aim of the expedition was fighting. After the battle, he told the Prophet about it and asked his excuse to be accepted; he joined all of the other battles and wars. He was one of the few Companions who did not leave the Prophet in the Battle of Uhud. One of the seven wounds he received that day was the blow given to him by Abu Burda b. Niyar accidentally. He re-armed again after the battle before finding an opportunity to cure his wounds in order to join the Expedition of Hamra al-Asad.

He was the standard-bearer of the tribe of Aws in the battles of Uhud and Tabuk; he was the commander of the group of 200 people appointed to protect the trench against the attacks of Khalid b. Walid.

Usayd, was known by the nickname “Kamil” (perfect/mature), because he had been famous for his maturity since the Era of Jahiliyya, he was literate and he was a good archer and swimmer. Usayd was one of the scribes of the Messenger of Allah and one of the people that the Prophet consulted from time to time; he also worked as a teacher.  

He was one of the people who dissuaded the Messenger of Allah from making a deal with Uyayna b. Hisn during the Battle of Khandaq. Ibrahim b. Jabir, who was one of the slaves from Taif who joined the Muslims as a result of the call of the Messenger of Allah, was put under the supervision of Usayd so that Usayd would teach him the Quran and the decrees of the religion. Usayd was also the imam (who lead the prayers) of his own tribe.

When the Prophet died, most of Ansar supported Sa'd b. Ubada, the leader of the tribe of Khazraj but Usayd joined the group that supported Hz. Abu Bakr and played an important role in the election of Hz. Abu Bakr as the caliph. It is stated that Abu Bakr consulted him related to important issues.

He took part in the famous meeting that Hz. Umar had with his commanders and the notables of the Companions in Jabiya; he also took part in the conquest of Jerusalem.

Usayd, who was regarded as the most virtuous people among the Sons of Abdulashhal along with  Sa'd b. Muadh and Abbad b. Bishr, died on Shaban, 20 (July-August 641). Hz. Umar led his janazah prayer and carried his dead body the Cemetery of Baqi.

When Hz. Umar heard that the land of Usayd, who owed 4000 dirhams when he died, was sold to pay his debt, Umar called the creditors and talked to them so as not to leave Usayd’s children in financial difficulty. He made a deal with them and left the income of the land to the creditors for four years with the system of “qabala”. It is stated in some sources that this issue of debt payment was based on a will by Usayd to Hz. Umar. (Ibn Abdulbar, I, 55)

It is narrated that Usayd affected even angels by reciting the Quran with a beautiful voice; once, while he was reading the Quran, his horse, which was tied, shied and reared up; when he stopped reading, the horse calmed down. The same thing happened three times. He was worried that his son, who was near the horse would be hurt, and went over to the horse. He saw objects like lanterns in a shadow resembling a cloud rose toward the sky by shining.

When he told the Prophet (pbuh) about it in the morning, he told Usayd that the beings that he saw were the angels who came to listen to his reading the Quran and that they would continue to listen to him until the morning and that people would also see them. (Bukhari, Fadailul-Quran 15, Manaqib, 25)

People like Anas b. Malik, Ka‘b b. Malik, Abu Said al-Hudri, Hz. Aisha, Abu Layla al-Ansari, Abdurrahman b. Abu Layla, Ibn Shafi‘ at-Tabib narrated hadiths from Usayd. Ther are about fifty hadiths that he narrated in Kutub at-Tis’a including the repeated ones.

b) Abu Mihsan Ukkasha b. Mihsan b. Hursan al-Asadi (d. 11/632)

Since he was about forty-four years old when the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) died, he must have been born in 588.

He is the brother of the Companions Abu Sinan and Umm Qays bint Mihsan and the paternal uncle of Sinan b. Abu Sinan.

Ukkasha, who lived in Makkah with some relatives, was one of the first Muslims. When he was thirty-four, he migrated to Madinah with all of his relatives. He took part in almost all expeditions. He also took place in the Expedition of Batn an-Nahla under the command of Abdullah b. Jahsh.

He fought heroically in the Battle of Badr. When his sword was broken during the battle, it was narrated that the Messenger of Allah had gave him was transformed into a sharp sword and that Ukkasha used this weapon called "awn" both in the Battle Badr and in the wars that he took part later. (Ibn Hisham, I, 637)

In the 6th year of the Migration (627), Ukkasha was appointed as the commander of the military unit of forty people sent as against Sons of Asad for retaliation; it is also reported that the commander was Thabit b. Aqram. No fighting took place in this expedition, which is also known as Ghamra because the enemy escaped but some booty was obtained.

In the 9th year of the Migration (630), Ukkasha was appointed as the commander of the Expedition of Jinab sent against the clans of Sons of Bali and Sons of Uzra of the Qudaa tribe. The Prophet also sent him to the region of Sakasik and Sakun as zakah officer and conveyor of the message of Islam.

Ukkasha who was a famous cavalryman, was at the forefront with this property in battles. Because of his heroic fighting in many wars, the Messenger of Allah praised him with the words "We have the best cavalryman of Arabs." When the Prophet was asked who he was, he said, "Ukkasha b. Mihsan".

When Dirar b. Azwar From the tribe of Asad which Ukkasha belonged to, said, "O Messenger of Allah! Ukkasha belongs to our tribe”, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "No, he is not of you; he is a contracted (hilf) man of us." (Ibn Hisham, I, 638)

The Messenger of Allah said that 70,000 people of his ummah that turned to Allah with full submission would enter Paradise without being reckoned.  

Ukkasha said, "O Messenger of Allah! Would you pray to Allah so that He will include me among them?" The Prophet said," You are already among them. "

Thereupon, another person who was there wanted the same thing but the Prophet said, "Ukkasha acted faster than you." (Bukhari, Tibb 17, 41, Riqaq, 50, Muslim, Iman, 367, 369, 371, 374)

This statement of the Messenger of Allah became a saying expressing the person that acted faster than the other of the two people who wanted to do the same thing.

Ukkasha was martyred in the battle against those who renounced the religion of Islam after the death of the Prophet.

Ukkasha, who was a member of the army Hz. Abu Bakr sent against Tulayha b. Khuwaylid under the command of Khalid b. Walid, went with Thabit bin Aqram as a vanguard to watch Tulayha and his men. On the way, they met Tulayha and his brother who had come to watch the Muslims. Ukkasha started to fight Tulayha and he was about to kill him when Tulayha’s brother came and rescued him. Then, they martyred Ukkasha.

In Turkey, there is a grave associated with Ukkasha in the town of Nurdağı in Gaziantep. The name Okkesh, which is the Turkish adaptation of the name Ukkasha, is given as a name to boys due to the love toward him and is widely used especially in Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş and Adıyaman regions. Abu Hurayra and Abdullah b. Abbas narrated hadiths from Ukkasha but they were not included in Kutub as-Sitta.

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