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Hanzala b. Abi 'Amir

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Sahaba
Hanzala b. Abi 'Amir
Personal Information
Epithet Ghasil al-Mala'ika (washed by angels)
Lineage Aws
Muhajir/Ansar Ansar
Death/Martyrdom 3/625
Burial Place Uhud cemetery
Religious Information
Presence at Ghazwas Battle of Uhud
Migration to Migration to Medina
Known for Sahaba, one of the writers of revelation

Ḥanẓala b. Abī ʿĀmir (Arabic: حنظلة بن ابي عامر), known as Ghasīl al-Malāʾika (Arabic: غسيل الملائکة, washed by angels) (d. 3/ 624), was one of the Sahaba who was martyred in the Battle of Uhud. Hanzala had a special place among his friends and enemies. He cited hadiths from the Prophet (s) and some other Sahaba. His son, 'Abd Allah, who was one of the young Sahaba, was the commander in the Event of Harra in 63/682.

Lineage

Hanzala was from the Banu 'Amr b. 'Awf—a clan of the Aws tribe. His father was Abu 'Amir 'Abd 'Amr b. Sayfi, a prominent figure in the period of Jahiliyya.

Father

Abu 'Amir, Hanzala's father, who was the leader of the Aws tribe, practiced monkhood during the period of Jahiliyya and talked about the resurrection and the Hanif religion. He was known as a monk and knew a lot about the Bible. According to al-Baladhuri, he sought to be known as a prophet himself. However, after a long conversation with the Prophet (s), the Prophet (s) called him a vice person, though he claimed to be committed to the Hanif religion.

After the conversation, Abu 'Amir became upset at the Prophet (s). So he joined Quraysh together with 65 people and started to invite the polytheists of Quraysh as well as the Jews and Ansar in Medina to rise against the Prophet (s). In the Battle of Badr he did not accompany the polytheists of Quraysh, but in the Battle of Uhud, he was one of the first people who started the war. He dug some pits on the Muslims' way to the battlefield in which a polytheist—who sought to kill the Prophet (s)—fell and was later killed by Muslims.

After the Conquest of Mecca, he fled to Ta'if and when people of Ta'if converted to Islam, he moved to Syria. There he planned to prepare weapons and troops in order to attack Medina, but he died there in 9/630 or 10/631.

The well-known Dirar Mosque, that God ordered the Prophet (s) to destroy[Note 1], was built at Abu 'Amir's instigation. He planned to defeat the Prophet (s) in Medina and then give a speech in that mosque. According to al-Miqrizi, Abu 'Amir was determined to exhume the grave of Amina bt. Wahb, the Prophet (s)'s mother, but, by the intervention of God, he failed to do so.

Killing his Father

A while after their conversion to Islam, Hanzala and 'Abd Allah b. 'Abd Allah al-Ubayy asked the Prophet (s) to give them the permission to kill their fathers, but the Prophet (s) did not allow them to do so. Their fathers, Abu 'Amir and 'Abd Allah b. Ubayy, the well-known hypocrite in the early Isalm, became jealous of the Prophet (s) after his immigration to Medina. 'Abd Allah b. Ubayy practiced hypocrisy (nifaq), but Abu 'Amir went to Mecca, together with some young people from Aws, and joined the polytheists of Quraysh.

Martyrdom

According to sources, in the Battle of Uhud, since Hanzala had just recently married, he asked for the Prophet (s)'s permission to spend time with his wife the night before the battle. Early in the morning, he went to the battlefield. His wife, Jamila bt. 'Abd Allah b. Ubayy, had a dream that she interpreted as the martyrdom of his husband. Therefore, she asked four of her relatives to testify that she had spent the night with Hanzala, since she was afraid that there would be a dispute over the child she would give birth to.

In the battlefield, Hanzala defeated Abu Sufyan and was about to decapitate him, but Shaddad b. Aswad b. Shu'ub martyred Hanzala. At this time, the Prophet (s) said: "the angels wash his corpse". Since then, he came to be known as "Ghasil al-Mala'ika" (washed by the angels) and his children were known as "Banu Ghasil al-Mala'ika".

Place

The martyrdom of Hanzala in the Battle of Uhud was considered to be so important that the polytheists of Quraysh, especially Abu Sufyan, composed poems and paeans about it, including the famous paean, "Hanzala bi-Hanzala" (a Hanzala for a Hanzala), composed by Abu Sufyan as a retaliation of his defeat in the Battle of Badr in which one of his sons called "Hanzala" was killed.

When the battle was over, there was a rumor that the Prophet (s) was killed. Abu Sufyan and Abu 'Amir were looking for the Prophet (s)'s corpse but they ran into Hanzala's corpse. When Abu 'Amir saw his son's corpse, he recited an elegy for him, and said, "he is the dearest of all people who are murdered in Uhud to me". At his request, people of Quraysh avoided mutilating his corpse.

People of Aws were always proud of having Hanzala among them and bragged about him against people of Khazraj. Hanzala also counts among the writers of the revelation (wahy).

'Abd Allah the son of Hanzala

Hanzala's son, 'Abd Allah, was one of the youngest Sahaba of the Prophet (s). his kunya was Abu 'Abd al-Rahman or Abu Bakr. He was born 9 months after Hanzala's martyrdom in the Battle of Uhud. He was later known as a righteous, virtuous, honorable, and worshiping man, who always looked down out of humbleness.

In addition to being Hanzala's son, what made him well-known in the Islamic history was his commandership in the Battle of Harra.

'Abd Allah narrated hadiths from the Prophet (s), 'Umar b. al-Khattab, Abu Bakr, 'Abd Allah b. Salam, and Ka'b al-Ahbar. People such as Qays b. Sa'd b. 'Ubada, Asma' bt. Zayd, 'Abd Allah b. Abi Malika, al-'Abbas b. Sahl, Damdam b. Haws, 'Abd Allah b. Yazid al-Khatmi, Salih b. Abi Hisan, and 'Abd al-Malik b. Abi Bakr narrated hadiths from him.

Notes

  1. وَالَّذينَ اتَّخَذوا مَسجِدًا ضِرارًا وَكُفرًا وَتَفريقًا بَينَ المُؤمِنينَ وَإِرصادًا لِمَن حارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسولَهُ مِن قَبلُ وَلَيَحلِفُنَّ إِن أَرَدنا إِلَّا الحُسنىٰ وَاللَّهُ يَشهَدُ إِنَّهُم لَكاذِبونَ: As for those who took to a mosque for sabotage and for defiance, and to cause division among the faithful, and for the purpose of ambush [used] by those who have fought Allah and His Apostle before —they will surely swear: 'We desired nothing but good,' and Allah bears witness that they are indeed liars. (Quran, 9:107)

References