Let us also take part of the story of ‘Umair Ibn Wahb. During the time of ignorance, the Quraish gave him the epithet: The Satan of Quraish. On theDay of Badr, the Satan of Quraish fought fiercely and wildly, but the forces of the Quraish returned to Makkah completely beaten and Umair Ibn Wahb left a part of himself at Al-Madeenah, as the Muslims had taken his son as a prisoner of war.
One day, he joined his cousin Safwaan Ibn Umaiyyah who was chewing his enemies in deadly bitterness because his father Umaiyyah Ibn Khalaf had been killed at Badr and his bones buried at Al-Qaleeb.
Safwaan, mentioning those who were killed at Badr said, ‘By Allah, there isn’t any good in life after them.’
Umair said, ‘That’s true. By Allah, were it not for debts that I’m unable to repay and my children who I fear might be vagabonds after me, I would ride to Muhammad and kill him. I have a plausible reason to give him. I’ll say that I have come for the sake of my son, a prisoner of war.’
Safwaan seized the chance and said, ‘I’ll repay your debts and maintain your children with mine and comfort them as long as they live.’
Umair agreed and said, ‘keep it secret.’ Then he ordered his sword to be sharpened and poisoned and, he set out.
When he arrived at Al-Madeenah, Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab was sitting among some of the Muslims talking about the Day of Badr. Umar looked and saw ‘Umair Ibn Wahb, girded with sword, making his camel kneel at the door of the mosque.
‘Umar said, ‘That dog, the enemy of Allah, ‘Umair Ibn Wahb! By Allah, he has come for nothing but evil. It is he who provoked us on the Day of Badr.’
‘Umar entered and said to the Messenger of Allah (SAW): ‘O Prophet of Allah, here is the enemy of Allah, ‘Umair Ibn Wahb come girded with his sword.’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Let him in.’
‘Umar came and took him by the scabbard of his sword round his neck and said to some of the men, ‘Enter and sit with the Prophet (SAW) and be cautious of that fellow, he is dishonest.’
Then ‘Umar entered holding the scabbard of his sword round his neck and when the Prophet saw him, he told ‘Umar to let him alone and said to ‘Umair, ‘Draw nearer.’
‘Umair approached and said, ‘Good morning.’ That was the salutation in the period of Jahiliyyah.
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Allah has honoured us with a better salutation than yours. It is As-Salaam, the salutation of the believers in Paradise.’
‘Umair said, ‘O Muhammad, by Allah I have heard it recently.’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘What made you come, ‘Umair?’
‘Umair said, ‘I have come for the sake of this captive in your hands.’
The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Tell the truth, ‘Umair, what have you come for?’
‘Umair said, ‘I have come for that purpose.’ The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘But you sat with Safwaan Ibn Umaiyyah at Al-Hijirand mentioned those of Al-Qaleeb from the Quraish, then you said, were it not for debts and my children, I would ride and kill Muhammad. Safwaan promised to repay your debts and maintain your children on condition that you kill me, but Allah prevented you from doing so.’
At that moment, ‘Umair cried, ‘I witness that there is no god but Allah and that you are His Prophet. That matter wasn’t attended by anyone except Safwaan and me. By Allah, Allah told it to you. Praise be to Allah who guided me to Islaam.’
Yes, guidance is Allah’s prerogative. ‘Umair who hated Muhammad (SAW) and his religion so much as he was willing to assassinate him at any price ended up believing in Islaam and being ready to give his life as ransom for the Prophet’s life.
During a ceasefire interval for rest and replenishment of supplies in the battle of Yarmuuk, Jarajah, the Roman general sought audience with Khaalid Ibn Waleed. When Khaalid came, the two generals remained mounted and stood very close to each other that the heads of their horses crossed in such a way that the mane of one was brushing the neck of the other.
‘O Khaalid,’ the Roman general commenced the discussion, ‘inform me truthfully, and don’t lie or deceive me, for a freeman, as a gentleman, neither lies nor deceives. Did Allah send a sword from the horizon to your Messenger which was given to you and with which whomever you strike was routed?’
‘No.’ answered Khaalid.
‘Then why were you christened The Sword of Allah?’
Khaalid said, ‘Verily, Allah has risen in our midst His Prophet who invited us to the Truth, but we refused and deserted him.
Then some of us followed him, and many of us were obdurate and gave a lie to his message. I was among those who belied and rejected him; and later, Allah guided our hearts; we believed in, and pledged our allegiance to him. The Messenger of Allah (SAW), afterwards, said to me: ‘You are the Sword of Allah, unsheathed on the polytheists.’ He supplicated Allah to grant me success. From then on, I was named the Sword of Allah. I am the fiercest and sternest of fighters against the polytheists!’
‘To what do you call people, O Khaalid?’ asked Jarajah.
‘We invite people to testify that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His servant and messenger; that people accept what he brought from Allah Almighty.’
Jarajah said, ‘What if the people refuse to answer your call and reject what your Prophet brought?’
‘Then they will have to pay tax under our rule and protection.’
‘And what happens if they refuse to pay you the tax?’ questioned Jarajah.
‘That amounts to declaration of war, and we shall fight them…’ answered Khaalid. ‘Now tell me, Khaalid,’ said Jarajah, ‘what is the position of one who embraces your religion today in relation to older adherents?’
‘Our position is one and the same with regards to religious obligations; we are equal; the honoured and the lowly; the first of us, and the last of us.’
‘Do you mean by that those who come into your religion today will have the same reward with you in spite of what has been recorded in your favour of recompense before this day?’ said Jarajah.
‘Exactly so, and more…’ assured Khaalid.
‘How can one who becomes a Muslim today be equal with you when you’ve preceded them in faith?’
Khaalid explained, ‘We had to accept this message; we pledged allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (SAW) while he was in our midst, the revelation was being sent to him, and he was conveying it to us, rehearsing his Lord’s verses to us. It was more logical to one who saw what we saw and heard what we heard to accept this religion and believe in Allah. But in your case, you people have not witnessed what we saw; you have not heard what we heard of divine revelations, miracles, plain proofs and wonders. Therefore, whoever will accept the message now, convinced of its veracity out of their freewill, are by far better than us!’
At this point Jarajah said, ‘By Allah, you have spoken rightly and have not deceived me.’
‘Yes, I have,’ continued Khaalid, ‘and in doing that I don’t have need for anything either from you or from any other person. My purpose is to convey the truth about my religion as I understood it.’
There and then Jarajah said, ‘Teach me how to practice Islaam.’
Khaalid took Jarajah to his tent for ritual bath, ablution, etc. They later prayed two raka’aat with Khaalid leading the salaah to Allah, Lord of the worlds.
The ceasefire period ended and hostilities continued. Jarajah, the Roman general, was now fighting on the side of the Muslims; he fought gallantly until he was struck, martyred. He came to the battlefield a polytheist, and exited the world as a Muslim martyr who only prayed two raka’aat with Khaalid (RA); that was the first and last prayer he ever offered to Allah, the Lord of the worlds; Allah, who guides whom He pleases to the right path.