Ikrima ibn Abi Jahl

Ikrima ibn Abi Jahl Amr ibn Hishām (Arabic: عكرمة بن أبي جهل‎, romanizedʿIkrima ibn Abī Jahl; born: 598 CE) was a leading opponent-turned companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a Muslim commander in the Ridda wars and the conquest of Syria. In the latter campaign, he was slain by Byzantine forces.

Ikrima ibn Abi Jahl
عكرمة بن عمرو بن هشام بن المغيرة بن عبد الله بن عمر بن مخزوم بن يقظة.png
Name of Ikrima son of Abu al-Hakam
Bornc. 598 (approximate date)
Mecca, Hejaz, Arabia
Died634 or 636 CE
Ajnadayn (between Ramla and Bayt Jibrin) or near Yarmouk River[1]
AllegianceQuraysh (624 — 630)
Muhammad (630 — 632)
Rashidun Caliphate (632 — 634 or 636)
Service/branchRashidun army
Years of service632 — 634 or 636
Commands heldField commander of Muslim army in Arabia
Spouse(s)Umm Hakim bint al-Harith ibn Hisham
Qutayla bint Qays ibn Ma'dikarib
Asma bint al-Nu'man ibn Abi al-Jawn
Children(possibly a son named Amr)
RelationsAbu Jahl (father)
Mujaladiya bint Amr (mother)


Ikrima's father was Amr ibn Hisham ibn al-Mughira, a leader of the polytheistic Quraysh tribe's Banu Makhzum clan who was called "Abu Jahl" (father of ignorance) by the Muslims for his stringent opposition to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Ikrima's father was slain fighting the Muslims at the Battle of Badr in 624.[3] At the Battle of Uhud, where the Quraysh defeated the Muslims, Ikrima commanded the tribe's left wing; his cousin Khalid ibn al-Walid commanded the right wing.[4] The Makhzum's losses at Badr had diminished their influence and gave way to the Banu Abd Shams under Abu Sufyan to take the helm against Muhammad.[3] However, the influence of Ikrima, by then the preeminent leader of the Makhzum, in Mecca had increased toward the end of the 620s.[3] He opposed the negotiations with Muhammad at Hudaybiyya and broke the agreement when he and some Quraysh attacked the Banu Khuza'a. When Muhammad conquered Mecca in 630, Ikrima escaped as a fugitive for the Yemen where the Makhzum had commercial connections.[3]

Muhammad later pardoned Ikrima,[5] apparently after being petitioned by Ikrima's wife and paternal first cousin Umm Hakim bint al-Harith, who had converted to Islam.[6] According to the historian al-Waqidi, Muhammad appointed Ikrima as a tax collector of the Hawazin tribal confederation in 632. Ikrima was in the Tihama region between Yemen and Mecca when Muhammad died.[7] According to Blankinship, after he embraced Islam, Ikrima devoted to his new religion's cause "much of the energy that had characterized his earlier opposition" to Islam.[8] After Muhammad's death, the Islamic prophet's close associate Abu Bakr became caliph (leader of the Muslim community) and appointed Ikrima to lead a campaign against rebel Arab tribes in the Ridda wars (632–633), which saw him command expeditions around the entire Arabian Peninsula,[9] with particular focus in Yemen.[10] By 634, Abu Bakr reassigned Ikrima and his troops, who hailed from the Tihama, northern Yemen, Bahrayn and Oman, to reinforce Khalid's army in the Muslim conquest of Syria.[11] Ikrima was most likely killed fighting the Byzantines in the Battle of Ajnadayn in Palestine in 634, though it is also held that he may have been slain in the Battle of Yarmouk in 636.[10][9]


According to the historian al-Ya'qubi (d. 898), Ikrima was married to Qutayla bint Qays ibn Ma'dikarib, the sister of the chieftain of the Kindite Banu Mu'awiya clan, al-Ash'ath ibn Qays. She was sent from Yemen to marry Muhammad but arrived after the Islamic prophet died and afterward was wed to Ikrima.[12] The Islamic tradition mostly agrees that Ikrima died childless, though the 8th-century historian Sayf ibn Umar mentions a son named Amr and Ibn Hazm (d. 1064), possibly deriving his information from Sayf, calls this same son Umar.[13] The modern historian Michael Lecker holds that Ikrima's marriage to Qutayla proved problematic for later Muslim scholars as the remarriage of Muhammad's wives was forbidden.[14] Lecker holds the Islamic tradition censored out the original report used by the traditional Muslim authors that Qutayla bore Ikrima "a feeble-minded son", which he considers to be the "more trustworthy" version.[14] Ikrima was also married to Asma bint al-Nu'man ibn Abi al-Jawn, another Kindite wife of Muhammad whose marriage had never been consummated. He married her after a relatively short marriage to Ikrima's Makhzumite kinsman al-Muhajir ibn Abi Umayya.[15] Ikrima's wife Umm Hakim married Caliph Umar (r. 634–644) sometime after Ikrima's death.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "عكرمة بن أبي جهل.. شهيد اليرموك". صحيفة الخليج (in Arabic). Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  2. ^ "عكرمة بن أبي جهل.. شهيد اليرموك". صحيفة الخليج (in Arabic). Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Hinds 1991, p. 139.
  4. ^ Umari 1991, pp. 53–54.
  5. ^ Donner 1993, p. 53, note 340.
  6. ^ Landau-Tasseron 1998, p. 17.
  7. ^ Landau-Tasseron 1998, p. 19.
  8. ^ Blankinship 1993, p. 77, note 443.
  9. ^ a b Blankinship 1993, pp. 77–78, note 443.
  10. ^ a b Hinds 1991, p. 138.
  11. ^ Blankinship 1993, pp. 77–78.
  12. ^ Gordon et al. 2018, p. 697.
  13. ^ Blankinship 1993, p. 99, note 535.
  14. ^ a b Lecker 1998, p. 20.
  15. ^ Donner 1993, p. 185 note 1131, 190 note 1156.