Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib

Ḥamza ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib (Arabic: حمزة بن عبد المطلب; c. 568 – 625)[2][3] was a foster brother, companion and paternal uncle of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Asad Allāh (أسد الله)
Sayyid al-Shuhadāʾ (سيد الشهداء)
Hamza Asadullah Masjid an-Nabawi Calligraphy.png
Military Commander to Muhammad
In office
Succeeded byZubayr ibn al-Awwam
Ali (In Battle of Khaybar)
Personal details
Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib

c. 568, or 566[1]
Mecca, Hejaz, Arabia
Died22 March 625 (aged 56–57)
Mount Uhud, Medina, Arabia
Resting placeUhud, Medina
OccupationMilitary general
Known forPaternal Uncle and Companion of the Prophet
TribeQuraysh (Banu Hashim)
Military service
AllegianceMuhammad (623–625)
Years of service623–625
Rank Military Commander

He was martyred in the Battle of Uhud on 22 March 625 (3 Shawwal 3 hijri). His kunyas were "Abū ʿUmāra"[3]: 2  (أبو عمارة) and "Abū Yaʿlā"[3]: 3  (أبو يعلى). He had the by-names Asad Allāh[3]: 2  (أَسَد ٱللَّٰه, "Lion of God") and Asad al-Janna (أسد الجنة, "Lion of Heaven"), and Muhammad gave him the posthumous title Sayyid al-Shuhadāʾ (سيد الشهداء).[4]

Early lifeEdit

Ibn Sa'd basing his claim on al-Waqidi states that Hamza was reportedly four years older than Muhammad.[3][page needed] This is disputed by Ibn Sayyid, who argues: "Zubayr narrated that Hamza was four years older than the Prophet.[5] But this does not seem correct, because reliable hadith state that Thuwayba nursed both Hamza and the Prophet."[citation needed] Ibn Sayyid concludes that Hamza was only two years older than Muhammad۔[citation needed] Ibn Hajar writes as a conclusion of Ibn Sayyid's hadiths: "Hamza was born two to four years before Muhammad".[6][page needed]

Ibn Kathir in Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya cites Abu Nu`aym who traces a hadith to Ibn Abbas, that after Abdul Mutallib went to Yemen, he stayed with a Jewish priest. A monk prophesied that he will have both power and prophethood and advised him to marry a woman of the Banu Zuhra. After returning to Mecca, he did so by marrying Hala, a woman of the tribe, and she birthed Hamza. Later, Abdullah married Amina and the Quraysh said he had won out in terms of marriage.[citation needed]

Hamza was skilled in wrestling, archery and fighting.[4][page needed] He was fond of hunting lions, and he is described as "the strongest man of the Quraysh, and the most unyielding".[7][page needed]



Hamza's father was Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim ibn Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy from the Qurayshi tribe of Mecca.[3]: 2  His mother was Hala bint Wuhayb from the Zuhra clan of Quraysh.[3]: 2  Tabari cites two different traditions. In one, Al-Waqidi states that his parents met when Abd al-Muttalib went with his son Abdullah to the house of Wahb ibn Abd Manaf to seek the hand of Wahb's daughter Amina. While they were there, Abd al-Muttalib noticed Wahb's niece, Hala bint Wuhayb, and he asked for her hand as well. Wahb agreed, and Muhammad's father Abdullah and his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib were both married on the same day, in a double-marriage ceremony.[8] Hence, Hamza was the younger brother of Muhammad's father.

Marriages and childrenEdit

Hamza married three times and had six children.[3]: 3 

  1. Salma bint Umays ibn Ma'd, the half-sister of Maymuna bint al-Harith.
    1. Umama bint Hamza, wife of Salama ibn Abi Salama.
  2. Zaynab bint Al-Milla ibn Malik of the Aws tribe in Medina.
    1. Amir ibn Hamza.
    2. Bakr ibn Hamza, who died in childhood.
  3. Khawla bint Qays ibn Amir of the An-Najjar clan. He had issue, but their descendants had died out by the time of Ibn Sa'd.
    1. Umar ibn Hamza.
    2. Atika bint Hamza.[9]
    3. Barra bint Hamza.

Conversion to IslamEdit

Hamza took little notice of Islam for the first few years. He converted in late 616 AD.[3]: 3  Upon returning to Mecca after a hunting trip in the desert, he heard that Amr ibn Hishām (referred in Islamic scriptures as "Abu Jahl") had "attacked the Prophet and abused and insulted him,"[3]: 3  "speaking spitefully of his religion and trying to bring him into disrepute". Muhammad had not replied to him.[7]: 131  "Filled with rage," Hamza "went out at a run ... meaning to punish Abu Hishām when he met him". He entered the Kaaba, where Abu Hishām was sitting with the elders, stood over him and "struck him a violent blow" with his bow. He said, "Will you insult him, when I am of his religion and say what he says? Hit me back if you can!"[7]: 132  He "struck Abu Jahl's head with a blow that cut open his head".[3]: 3  Some of Abu Hishām's relatives approached to help him, but he told them, "Leave Abu Umara [Hamza] alone, for, by God, I insulted his nephew deeply".[7]: 132 

After that incident, Hamza entered the House of Al-Arqam and declared Islam.[3]: 3  "Hamza’s Islam was complete, and he followed the Apostle's commands. When he became a Muslim, the Quraysh recognised that the Apostle had become strong, and had found a protector in Hamza, and so they abandoned some of their ways of harassing him".[7]: 132  Instead, they tried to strike bargains with him; but he did not accept their offers.[7]: 132–133 

Hamza once asked Muhammad to show him the angel Jibreel in his true form. Muhammad told Hamza that he would not be able to see him. Hamza retorted that he would see the angel, so Muhammad told him to sit where he was. They claimed that Jibreel descended before them and that Hamza saw that Jibreel's feet were like emeralds, before falling down unconscious.[3]: 6 

Hamza joined the emigration to Medina in 622 and lodged with Kulthum ibn al-Hidm[7]: 218  or Saad ibn Khaythama. Muhammad made him the brother in Islam of Zayd ibn Haritha.[3]: 3 [7]: 324 

Military expeditionsEdit

First expeditionEdit

Muhammad sent Hamza on his first raid against Quraysh. Hamza led an expedition of thirty riders to the coast in Juhayna territory to intercept a merchant-caravan returning from Syria. Hamza met Abu Hishām at the head of the caravan with three hundred riders at the seashore. Majdi ibn Amr al-Juhani intervened between them, "for he was at peace with both parties," and the two parties separated without any fighting.[3]: 4 [7]: 283 

There is dispute as to whether Hamza or his nephew Ubayda ibn al-Harith was the first Muslim to whom Muhammad gave a flag.[7]: 283 

Battle of BadrEdit

Hamza fought at the Battle of Badr, where he shared a camel with Zayd ibn Haritha[7]: 293  and where his distinctive ostrich feather made him highly visible.[3]: 4 [7]: 303  The Muslims blocked the wells at Badr.[7]: 297 

Al-Aaswad ibn Abdalasad al-Makhzumi, who was a quarrelsome ill-natured man, stepped forth and said, "I swear to God that I will drink from their cistern or destroy it or die before reaching it". Hamza came forth against him, and when the two met, Hamza smote him and sent his foot and half his shank flying as he was near the cistern. He fell on his back and lay there, blood streaming from his foot towards his comrades. Then he crawled to the cistern and threw himself into it with the purpose of fulfilling his oath, but Hamza followed him and smote him and killed him in the cistern".[7]: 299 

He then killed Utba ibn Rabi'a in single combat and helped Ali to kill Utba's brother Shayba.[7]: 299  It is disputed whether it was Hamza or Ali who killed Tuwayma ibn Adiy.[7]: 337 

Later Hamza carried Muhammad's banner in the expedition against the Banu Qaynuqa.[3]: 4 


Grave of Hamza near Mount Uhud

Hamza was killed in the Battle of Uhud on Saturday 23 March 625 (7 Shawwal 3 hijri) when he was 57-59 years old. He was standing in front of Muhammad, fighting with two swords and then Abyssinian slave Wahshi ibn Harb with a promise of manumission from Hind bint Utba, if he killed Hamza. This was to revenge her father, Utba ibn Rabi'a, whom Hamza had killed in Badr.[7] Hamza, running back and forth, stumbled and fell on his back; and Wahshi said, "who could throw a javelin as the Abyssinians do and seldom missed the mark,"[7] threw it into Hamza's abdomen and martyred him.

Wahshi then slit open his stomach and brought his liver to Hind bint Utba,[3] whose father Hamza had killed at Badr (see above). Hind chewed Hamza's liver then spat it out. "Then she went and mutilated Hamza and made anklets, necklaces and pendants from his body, and brought him and his liver to Mecca".[3]

Hamza was buried in the same grave (Arabic: قَبْر, qabr) as his nephew Abdullah ibn Jahsh. Muhammad later said, "I saw the angels washing Hamza because he was in Paradise on that day".[3] Fatima used to go to Hamza's grave and tend it.[3]

Family treeEdit

Kilab ibn MurraFatima bint Sa'd
Zuhra ibn Kilab
(progenitor of Banu Zuhra)
maternal great-great-grandfather
Qusayy ibn Kilab
paternal great-great-great-grandfather
Hubba bint Hulail
paternal great-great-great-grandmother
Abd Manaf ibn Zuhra
maternal great-grandfather
Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy
paternal great-great-grandfather
Atika bint Murra
paternal great-great-grandmother
Wahb ibn `Abd Manaf
maternal grandfather
Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf
(progenitor of Banu Hashim)
paternal great-grandfather
Salma bint `Amr
paternal great-grandmother
Fatima bint Amr
paternal grandmother
`Abd al-Muttalib
paternal grandfather
Hala bint Wuhayb
paternal step-grandmother
Abd Allah
paternal uncle
paternal half-uncle
paternal half-uncle
first nurse
second nurse
Abu Talib
paternal uncle
paternal half-uncle
Abu Lahab
paternal half-uncle
6 other sons
and 6 daughters
first wife
Abd Allah ibn Abbas
paternal cousin
paternal cousin and son-in-law
family tree, descendants
Abd Allah
second cousin and son-in-law
family tree
Umm Kulthum
adopted son
Ali ibn Zainab
Umama bint Zaynab
`Abd Allah ibn Uthman
Rayhana bint Zayd
Usama ibn Zayd
adoptive grandson
Muhsin ibn Ali
Hasan ibn Ali
Husayn ibn Ali
family tree
Umm Kulthum bint Ali
Zaynab bint Ali
tenth wife
Abu Bakr
family tree
third wife
family tree
Umm Salama
sixth wife
eighth wife
eleventh wife
third wife
Family tree
fifth wife
fourth wife
seventh wife
Umm Habiba
ninth wife
Maria al-Qibtiyya
twelfth wife
  • * indicates that the marriage order is disputed
  • Note that direct lineage is marked in bold.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Global South Asia: South Asian Literatures and the World. Routledge. 30 December 2021. ISBN 9781000537833.
  2. ^ "Companions of The Prophet", Vol.1, By: Abdul Wahid Hamid
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A. (2013). The Companions of Badr. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  4. ^ a b "Prophetmuhammadforall.org" (PDF). www.prophetmuhammadforall.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  5. ^ Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. Ḥajr al-ʿAsqalānī, al-Iṣāba fī Tamyīz al-Ṣaḥāba. 8 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 1995), 2:105
  6. ^ Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Finding the Truth in Judging the Companions.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Muhammad ibn Ishaq. Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  8. ^ However, this in McDonald, M. V. (1988). Volume VI: Muhammad at Mecca, pp. 5-8. New York: State University of New York Press.
  9. ^ Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir vol. 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina, p. 288. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.