Utbah ibn Rabi'ah

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ʿUtbah ibn Rabīʿah (Arabic: عتبة بن ربيعة‎) (c.563-624) was one of the prominent Leaders of Quraish during the era of Muhammad.


Utbah's father was Rabi'ah ibn Abd Shams. Utbah's daughter, Hind bint Utbah, married Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, another of the Leaders of the Quraish and Muhammad's arch-enemy. Utbah had two sons, Abu Hudhayfah ibn Utbah and Walid ibn Utba, and a brother named Shaybah ibn Rabi'ah.

Death in Battle of Badr[edit]

Utbah was killed in the battle of Badr, as narrated in the hadith collection of Sunan Abi Da'ud. In it, Ali ibn Abi Talib is quoted saying:

(At the battle of Badr) Utbah ibn Rabi'ah came forward followed by his son and his brother and cried out: "Which of you shall challenge us in a traditional 3 champions' combat duel?" Some young men of the Helpers responded to his call. Utbah asked them: "Who are you?" They told him they were some young men from the Ansar. He responded: "You are brave indeed. However, we expect to face our peers, our equals, your allies from Quraish who have betrayed us!" Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib took out his sword and summoned two of us to join him, me and Ubaydah ibn al-Harith. Hamza headed straight towards Utbah. After few blows, Utbah was lying on the ground. [1]

The battle began with champions from both armies emerging to engage in combat. Three of the Ansar emerged from the Muslim ranks, only to be shouted back by the Meccans, who were nervous about starting any unnecessary feuds and only wanted to fight the Quraishi Muslims. So Hamza approached forward and called on Ubayda and Ali to join him. The Muslims dispatched the Meccan champions in a three-on-three melee. Hamza killed his opponent Utba ibn Rabi'ah; Ali killed his opponent Walid ibn Utba; Ubayda was wounded by his opponent Shaybah ibn Rabi'ah, but eventually killed him. So this was a victorious traditional 3 on 3 combat for the Muslims.

Now both armies began striking arrows and attacking at each other. A few Muslims and an unknown number of Quraish warriors were killed. Before the real attack began, Muhammad had given orders for the Muslims to attack with their ranged weapons, and only engage the Quraish with melee weapons when they advanced.[2] Now he gave the order to charge, throwing a handful of pebbles at the Meccans in what was probably a traditional Arabian gesture while yelling "Defaced be those faces!"[3][4] The Muslim army yelled "Yā manṣūr amit!"[5] "O thou whom God hath made victorious, slay!" and rushed the Quraishi lines.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abudawud Book 14, Number 2659 Archived 2000-08-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Sunan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2658". Usc.edu. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Armstrong, p. 176.
  4. ^ Lings, p. 148.
  5. ^ "O thou whom God hath made victorious, slay!"