Uqba ibn Abu Mu'ayt

Uqba ibn Abu Mu'ayt (Arabic: عقبة بن أبي معيط‎) (died 624) was one of the principal adversaries of Islam. He was a Quraysh leader and a member of the Banu 'Abdu Shams clan of Quraish tribe.


Family lineageEdit

‘Uqbah was the son of Abu Mu‘ayṭ ibn Abu ‘Amr ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abd Shams and of Shayma bint Abd-al-Uzza from the Banu Amir. Abu Mu'ayt's mother was Kabsha bint Abd al-Manat from Banu Amir. Uqbah's aunt, Safiyya bint Abi ‘Amr, married Abu Sufyan.

Family marriageEdit

He married Arwa bint Kurayz, a member of the Abdshams clan and the widow of ‘Affān ibn Abu al-‘Āṣ, making Uqba the stepfather of the future Caliph Uthman, Abd-Allah and Amina. Uqba and Arwa had six children: Walid, Ammara, Khalid, Umm Kulthum, Umm Hakim and Hind.[1]:161 All of his children became Muslims.

Role of 'Uqbah in opposing MuhammadEdit

Uqbah was one the neighbors of Muhammad. Yet he assaulted Muhammad verbally and physically as he was preaching monotheism[2] He also constantly ridiculed Muhammad when the latter was preaching in Mecca. On one occasion, when Muhammad was praying in the courtyard of the Ka'ba, Uqba brought the waste of a slaughtered camel (intestines, blood, dung etc.) upon the suggestion of other Quraysh leaders who were gathered there, and placed it upon Muhammad's back while he was in prostration. They laughed so much so that they fell on each other. He remained in that position due to the weight, unable to lift his head from prostration until his daughter came and removed it.[3]

On another occasion, Uqba spat on Muhammad's face at the incitement of his friend Ubay ibn Khalaf. According to the Islamic tradition, the Quranic verse [Quran 25:29] was revealed at that moment to Muhammad regarding Uqba and Ubay.[4] Uqbah was also one of those enemies of Muhammad who rejoiced at the news of the death of Muhammad's second son 'Abdullah.

Ubayy ibn Khalaf ibn Wahb ibn Ḥudhāfa was a very close friend of ‘Uqbah. When Ubayy came to know that ‘Uqba had sat and listened to the apostle, he told ‘Uqbah, ‘Do I hear that you have sat with Muhammad and listened to him? I swear I will never see you or speak to you again if you do the same again, or if you do not go and spit in his face.’ ‘Uqba indeed did this so that Allah sent down concerning the pair of them: “On the day that the sinner bites his hands, saying, would that I had chosen a path with the apostle.” (Sura 25: 27) [5]


According to numerous authentic and trustworthy sources such as a number of narrations in Sahih Bukhari, and Ibn Sa'd's biographical compendium, the Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Uqba was killed in the field of battle, during the Battle of Badr and was among those Quraysh leaders whose corpses were buried in a pit.[6][7][8] However, according to Ibn Hisham's biography, Uqba was executed on the order of Muhammad by Asim bin Thaabit as a prisoner after the Battle of Badr. [9][10] According to Muslim scholar Safiur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, after the Battle of Badr two captives – Nadr bin Harith and ‘Uqbah ibn Abū Mu‘ayṭ were beheaded by Ali. Mubarakpuri mentions that this incident about the beheading is also mentioned in the Sunan Abu Dawud no 2686 and Anwal Ma'bud 3/12[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Muhammad ibn Saad. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir Volume 8. Translated by Bewley, A. (1995). The Women of Madina. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  2. ^ Sahih Bukhari: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 339
  3. ^ Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 9, Number 499
  4. ^ Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), pp. 164–165.
  5. ^ The Life of Muḥammad: A Translation of ibn Isḥāq’s Sīrat Rasul Allāh with introduction & notes by Alfred Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 1955, page 164
  6. ^ Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 4, Number 241
  7. ^ Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 9, Number 499
  8. ^ Al Tabaqat-al-Kubra, Muhammad Ibn Sa'd, Volume 2, p.260, ghazwatul Badr, Darul Ihya'it-Turathil-'Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, First Edition, (1996)
  9. ^ Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 308.
  10. ^ Gabriel Said Reynolds, The Emergence of Islam (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012), p. 39.
  11. ^ Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar (Free Version), p. 129

See alsoEdit