Hamza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib
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|Hamza ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib
حمزة إبن عبد المطلب
|Vice & Companion of Muhammad|
616 A.D Officially – 625 A.D After his death
Hamza ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib (In Arabic: حمزة إبن عبد المطلب) [b.568-d.625] was the paternal uncle of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and his foster-brother. He was regarded as his foster brother because Prophet Muhammad and Hamza were suckled by the same women when they were infants.  He and Muhammad were raised together as they were almost the same age. With excellence in the arts of wrestling and swordsmanship, Hamza used his talents and experience to its best in the cause of Islam and earned the title of "Chief of the Martyrs" from Muhammad. Hamza was very fond of wrestling and hunting. He took great interest in swordsmanship and archery."
About his age
Hamza was only two years older than Muhammad. Islamic history informs us that Hamza was older than Muhammad. In his biography of Muhammad Uyun al-Athar, Ibn Sayyid al-Nas wrote, "Zubayr narrated that Hamza was four years older than the Prophet. But this does not seem correct, because reliable hadith state that Thaybiya nursed both Hamza and the Prophet." Ibn Sayyid concluded that Hamza was two years older than Muhammad, rather than four years as Zubayr claimed. He finished by saying, as they always say about matters that are in doubt, "Only God knows." In his book Finding the Truth in Judging the Companions, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani writes that Hamza was born two to four years before Muhammad. Ibn Sad says in The Book of the Major Classes that Hamza was killed at the Battle of Uhud when he was 59 years old. Ibn Sad adds that Hamza was four years older than Muhammad, and he was killed when Washi Ibn al-Harb pierced his stomach on 19 March 625.
Lineage and titles
Hamza was the son of Abdul Mutallib (Shaiba ibn Hashim), the grandson of Hashim ibn Abd Manaf and the great-grandson of Abd Manaf ibn Qusai from the tribe of Quraysh., حَمْزَةُ بنُ عَبْدِ المُطَّلِبِ بنِ هَاشِمِ بنِ عَبْدِ مَنَافٍ القُرَشِيُّ Hamza was known as the Lion of God (Arabic أسد الله) and the Lion of Paradise (Arabic: أسد الجنة) for his bravery. Among his titles are: Abu Umara ("أَبُو عُمَارَةَ"), and Abu Ya'la ("أَبُو يَعْلَى"). Hamza was also given the title of "Seyyed-ush-Shuhda'" (Chief of Martyrs).
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Hamza's conversion to Islam
Hamza converted to Islam due after some actions of Amr ibn Hishām, (also known as Abū Jahl أبو جهل) known for his hostility against the Muslims. Hamza, Muhammad's uncle, had returned to the city of Mecca after a hunting trip in the desert. Upon returning, he soon learned that Abu Jahl (an avowed enemy of Islam) had heaped abuse and insults upon Muhammad, who had not responded and walked away from where he had sat in the Haram. Outraged, Hamza dashed to the Kaaba, where Abu Jahl sat with other leaders of Mecca, and began to beat him with his bow while shouting "Are you going to insult him now, now that I am of his religion and vouch for what he vouches for? Hit me if you can!" As the companions of Abu Jahl approached Hamza in an attempt to assault him, Abu Jahl feebily cried out from the ground "Leave Abu Umarah, for indeed I insulted his nephew deeply." And he cowered at the feet of Hamza, while his friends could not meet Hamza's eyes. As he departed, he kicked sand back at the men, leaving all shocked at what Hamza had just said, none more so than Hamza himself. After that incident, Hamza declared Islam, and made a covenant to help Muhammad and to die in the cause of Islam.
The biography of Muhammad written by al-Halabi, as well as The Comprehensive Compilation of the Names of the Prophet's Companions by Ibn Abd al-Barr, both say that Muhammad’s mother Amina lived in the house of her uncle Wahib. Abd al-Mutallib went with his son Abdallah to seek the hand of Wahib’s niece Amina. While there, Abd al-Mutallib was attracted to a daughter of Wahib named Hala and asked for her hand as well. Wahib agreed, and Muhammad’s father Abdallah and his grandfather Abd al-Mutallib were both married on the same day in a double marriage ceremony.
Early life and family
Hamza, the son of Abd al-Muttalib, was the younger brother of Abd Allah ibn Abd al Muttalib, Muhammad's father. He had also been weaned by the same woman, Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb, as Muhammad, making Hamza Muhammad's foster brother as well. The two, Hamza and Muhammad, had grown up together, being just two or three years apart in age. But as the boys had become young men, they developed different attitudes to problems of society, Hamza was not such a contemplative thinker and was comfortable in his status of being part of the Meccan elite, though their relationship remained as strong as ever. So it was a conflicted Hamza that witnessed the escalating situation in the city as Muhammad declared the message of Islam. On the one hand, he had absolute faith in the character of his foster brother and nephew, being one of those who had been closest to him for all of his life. Yet some of his most honored values were the respect he held for his family and the traditions they had always followed, his pagan religion among these. So he was indifferent to the controversy, discouraging his peers from worrying about what they saw as a revolution in their midst and not bothering to join them in torturing the defenseless Muslims, while declining Muhammad's invitation to Islam. Hamza ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib was married to Salma bint Umays, the half-sister of Maymuna bint al-Harith (wife of Mohammed).
Mecca and Hijrah
The conversion to Islam of Hamza, gave the Muslims much greater strength and moral support. They were now able to speak and pray in public. Hamza had been a one of the most renowned warriors of the Quraysh, known for his solitary hunting expeditions in the desert and his prowess on the battlefield, and was known as the "Lion of the God". He became a staunch supporter of Muhammad, enduring the ostracization of the Muslims, and helped him get through the Year of Sorrow, when many of his close relatives died. And he became a trusted adviser after the Hijra, when Muhammad led the fledgling Muslim state in Medina. Hamza advised Muhammad to go on the offensive against those who had driven the Muslims from their homes and seized their property, which Muhammad decided to do by seizing a Quraysh caravan from Mecca at the wells of Badr.
Death at Battle of Uhud
On 19 March 625 (3 Shawwal 3 hijri) Hamza was fighting alongside the Muslims in the Battle of Uhud. He was standing in front of Muhammad, fighting with two swords, and shouting "I am Allah's lion". The Abyssinian slave Wahshy ibn Harb was there near the mountain of Uhud where the battle was fought. His master, Jubayr ibn Mut'im (Arabic: جبير بن مطعم) had promised him freedom if he killed Hamza. Wahshy ibn Harb, who was skilled in using the Javelin, threw it into Hamza's abdomen and killed him. He (Wahshi) soon left the battle as he had no other reason to fight and tired. 
- Shahid Ashraf, "Encyclopaedia of Holy Prophet and Companions", Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2004, ISBN 81-261-1940-3 
- Al-Zahabi, "Seyar A'lam al-nubala'", part 1, Biographies of the companions, 3rd edition, al-resala editing est.
- www.ancient-rome.info/Amir_Hamza; http://www.prophetmuhammadforall.org/webfiles/downloads/english/HAMZA.pdf
- Ibn Sa'd, 6/1/3
- Al-Hakim, 194/3
- Al-Bukhari, "Sahih Al-Bukhari", book of al-maghazi "المغازي", no (4072)
Musharraf Ali Farooqi, trans.; Ghālib Mirzā Amānʻalīkhāṉ Lakhnavī and Abdullah Bilgrami, compilers, ed. (2007). The Adventures of Amir Hamza, Lord of the Auspicious Planetary Conjunction. New York: The Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-64354-0.