Who were the people that killed Abu Jahl?

The Details of the Question

Who were the people that killed Abu Jahl? It is written as Muadh bin Afra, Muawwidh bin Afra in some resources and Muadh b. Afra and Muadh bin Amr bin Jamuh in other resources. Which one is true?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Abu Jahl, who was seventy years old, was a ferocious and steadfast enemy of Islam; he had a terrible face. He said, “My mother bore me for today!” showing his courage and leading his soldiers to the fight.

When Sons of Mahzum saw that many polytheists had been killed, they surrounded Abu Jahl like a herd of camels. They were going to protect him at any cost.

The battle was going on intensely.

When Hz. Abdurrahman b. Awf looked around in his rank, he saw two Ansar youths.

One of them approached him and asked, “Do you know Abu Jahl?”

Abdurrahman b. Awf said, “Yes, I know him. What are you going to do to him?” The young man answered,

“I promised Allah. When I see Abu Jahl, I am going to walk toward him; I am going to kill him or I am going to be martyred!”

Abdurrahman b. Awf admired this young man and appreciated his determination and courage. Meanwhile, the other youth approached and said the same things.

Abdurrahman b. Awf first said to himself, “I ended up between two children in the rank!” Then, he was amazed by their brave talks.

Those two young men were Muadh and Muawwidh, two of the seven children of Afra that took part in the battle.

Meanwhile, Abdurrahman b. Awf saw Abu Jahl, who was wandering among the polytheists and who was guarded by the members of Sons of Mahzum. He showed him to the two young men, saying, “There he is! Abu Jahl!”

The two brave young men drew their swords and walked toward that direction.

Many mujahids were looking for Abu Jahl to kill him just like those two young men. Before the two young men reached Abu Jahl, Muadh b. Amr b. Jamuh from Ansar, who was following Abu Jahl, hit Abu Jahl on the leg with his sword. Ikrima, the son of Abu Jahl wounded his hand and arm with his sword in return. This heroic Companion said,

“My hand was hanging down with its skin. I forgot about my hand due to the severity of the battle. I held my wounded hand at the back and continued fighting. When my hand started to give me a lot of trouble, I stepped on it with my foot and cut off my hanging hand!” (Ibn Hişam, Sirah, 2/287-288; Tabari, Tarikh, 2/284)

After Muadh b. Amr b. Jamuh was wounded, the two young brothers, Muadh and Muawwidh, approached Abu Jahl. They hit him with their swords and knocked him down. They thought he was dead and left him.

Meanwhile, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “I wonder what Abu Jahl did? What happened to him? Who will go and find out?

The mujahids looked for him but could not find him.

The Prophet repeated his order, saying, “Look for him! I have a word about him. If you cannot identify him, look at the scar on his knee.” Then, he added,

“Once, we were at the feast of Abdullah b. Jud’a together. I was a bit heavier and larger than him. When I was squeezed, I pushed him. He fell on his knees. One of his knees was injured and the scar never disappeared.” (Ibn Hişam, Sirah, 2/288; Tabari, Tarikh, 2/284)

Thereupon, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud went to look for him. He saw Abu Jahl in the throes of death. Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud asked him, “Are you Abu Jahl?” Then, he stepped on his neck, saying, “O enemy of Allah! Eventually Allah humiliated and ruined you! See?”

Although he was in the throes of death, Abu Jahl said to Ibn Mas’ud, “O shepherd! You are on a very steep place. It is not something that happened now for a great man to be killed by his own tribe. Now tell me which party is victorious today.”

Ibn Mas’ud said, “The victory belongs to God and His messenger!”, making him desperate in his last seconds. Abu Jahl, who became very sorrowful, expressed his unbelief again:

“Say to Muhammad, I was his enemy up to now; my enmity has increased twofold from now on!”

Thereupon, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud cut off his head immediately.

Thus, Abu Jahl did not become a believer even in his last breath; he insisted on unbelief and heresy, and went to Hell.

Ibn Mas’ud took his head to the presence of the Prophet. He said, “Here is the head of Abu Jahl, the enemy of Allah!”

Thereupon, the Prophet said, “Praise be to Allah, who helped His slave and made His religion superior!” Then he said, “This is the Pharaoh of this ummah!" (Dhahabi, Alamunnubala, 1/346)


Ibn Athir, Usdul-Ghaba, 5/202-203.
Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 2/286-287.
Ibn Abdilbarr, Istiab, 3/5.
Bayhaqi, Dalailun-Nubuwwa, 3/84-88.
Ibn Sayyid, Uyunul-Athar, 1/260.
Abul-Fida, al-Bidaya wa'n-Nihaya, 3/287-289.
Waqidi, Maghazi, 1/87.
Tabari, Tarikh, 2/284.
Dhahabi, Maghazi, p. 40, 71.
Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 1/444, 3/115. 444.
see. M. Asım Köksal, İslam Tarihi, Köksal Yayıncılık: 3/340-358.

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