Abu Fuhayra

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Amir ibn Fuhayra (عامر بن فهيرة) (586-625) was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammed. He was also known by the kunya Abu 'Amr.[1]

Background[edit]

Of African ancestry, he was born a slave in the possession of the Azd tribe.[2] Later he was owned by Al-Tufayl ibn Al-Harith, the stepson of Abu Bakr, who was also a member of this tribe[3] but probably younger than himself.

He became a Muslim in Mecca[4] before 614.[5] From 614 he was tortured in Mecca in an attempt to force him to recant his faith.[6] His persecutor is not directly named; but the persecution stopped when Abu Bakr bought him from Al-Tufayl and manumitted him.[7][8] As was usual for freed slaves, Amir remained in Abu Bakr's service[9] and had the special care of grazing his milking ewe.[10]

Emigration to Medina[edit]

When Abu Bakr and Muhammad escaped from Mecca in 622, Amir grazed Abu Bakr's flocks by day, then brought them at evening to the cave where Abu Bakr and Muhammad were hiding,[11] presumably so that the sheep would cover their tracks. When they left the cave to travel to Medina, Amir accompanied them.[12]

At first Amir stayed with Saad ibn Khaythama in Medina;[13] but he later returned to Abu Bakr's house. Muhammad made a pact of brotherhood between Amir and Al-Harith ibn Aws ibn Muadh.[14] Soon after their arrival, Amir, Abu Bakr and Bilal were all struck by Medina fever. When the young Aisha came to inquire after their health, Amir replied, apparently rambling:

I have experienced death before actually tasting it:
The coward’s death comes upon him as he sits.
Every man resists it with all his might
like the ox who protects his body with his horns.[15]

Amir fought at the battles of Badr and Uhud.[16]

Death[edit]

He participated in the Battle of Bir Ma'una in July or August 625.[17] When he was stabbed by Jabbar in Sulma from the Kalb tribe, he exclaimed, "I have been successful, by Allah!" He was among the first to die in the battle. Urwa reported that his body was never found, for "the angels had buried him" and he was raised directly to Heaven. Later Jabbar asked what Amir had meant by saying, "I have won." When he was told that Amir had gained Paradise, Jabbar also became a Muslim.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A. (2013). The Companions of Badr, p. 176. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  2. ^ Abdulmalik ibn Hisham. Notes to Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad, p. 743 note 422. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Ibn Saad/Bewley p. 176.
  4. ^ Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad, p. 116. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. ^ Ibn Saad/Bewley p. 176.
  6. ^ Ibn Saad/Bewley p. 176.
  7. ^ Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume p. 144.
  8. ^ Ibn Hisham/Guillaume p. 743 note 422.
  9. ^ Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume p. 116.
  10. ^ Ibn Saad/Bewley p. 176.
  11. ^ Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume p. 224.
  12. ^ Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-Muluk. Translated by Landau-Tasseron, E. (1998). Volume 39: Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and Their Successors, pp. 138, 142. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  13. ^ Ibn Saad/Bewley p. 176.
  14. ^ Ibn Saad/Bewley p. 176.
  15. ^ Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume p. 280.
  16. ^ Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume p. 144.
  17. ^ Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume pp. 144, 434-435.
  18. ^ Ibn Saad/Bewley pp. 176-177.