Seerah: EP38 – The Prophet stands up to Abu Jahl

Mar 5, 2013 | Abdul Nasir Jangda, Podcast, Seerah


Episode 38: The Prophet stands up to Abu Jahl

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This episode recounts the interactions between the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and Abu Jahl.


Abu Jahl and his cronies would often taunt the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Once, when the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was making Tawaaf, they were making crude comments to him. Finally, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) walked over to the group and said, ‘ By Allah, Allah has sent me to you with sacrifice.’ They became concerned by this open statement and its meaning, as they knew he never lost his cool and that he always spoke the truth. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) continued and everyone was silent after that.


Once whilst the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was praying at the Ka’ba, the friends of Abu Jahl egged him on to the point where he got a scarf and choked the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Abu Bakr saw this and tackled Abu Jahl away. He asked, ‘Do you want to kill this man simply because he worships Allah over all the idols you worship?’


A man from the tribe of Iraash came to Makkah to do business. He ran into Abu Jahl and entered into a business venture with him. He took his goods and Abu Jahl agreed to pay him later. However, when the Iraashi came to collect his money, Abu Jahl feigned having no knowledge of their agreement. The man called out to the people asking for help, but the onlookers mocked him. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was also present. Even before he noticed this man, some of the others mocking this man went over to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), knowing him and Abu Jahl did not get along: they told him to join forces with the Iraashi, as they both had a common enemy. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) empathised with the plight of this man and offered his help: he took the man, went to the house of Abu Jahl and knocked his door. Abu Jahl asked, ‘Who is there?’ The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Muhammad, come outside!’ When he heard the name of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Abu Jahl responded with disdain, ‘What do you want?’ When he came out, Abu Jahl went very pale, as if he saw a ghost. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to give the Iraashi what he deserved. Abu Jahl quickly agreed and handed over the money. The Iraashi went back to the Haram and expressed his appreciation for Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The people became confused and asked Abu Jahl what happened. Abu Jahl reported that when he opened the door to Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), standing behind him was the largest, wild, jinn-possessed male camel. Abu Jahl was petrified that the camel would kill him if he declined payment.