Foe Turns into Friend
The Messenger of God sent some horsemen to Najd led by Muhammad ibn Musallamah. They captured a man of the Banu Hanifah named Thamamah ibn Othal who had previously killed some Muslims. They brought him to Medina and tied him to a pillar in the mosque. (In another account it is said that they left him in a room adjoining the mosque.)
The Messenger of God went to see him and said to him:
'What is your situation O Thamamah?' He said: 'It is good O Muhammad. If you kill me you will kill a person of noble blood. If you let me go you will find me grateful. Or, if you want money then ask whatever you want.'
The Messenger of God said [to his companions afterwards]: 'Set Thamamah free.'
So Thamamah went to an oasis near the mosque and washed himself then he entered the mosque and said: 'I testify that there is no deity but God and that Muhammad is His Messenger. O Muhammad, I swear to God, no face on earth was more detestable to me than yours but now it has become the most beloved of faces to me. No way was more detestable to me than your way and now your way has become the most
beloved of ways to me. No land was more detestable to me than your land but now your land has become the most beloved of lands to me. Your horses took me when I was going to Mecca for pilgrimage so what do you think?' The Messenger of God gave him glad tidings and ordered him to go to the pilgrimage. When he arrived in Mecca someone said to him: 'Have you become rejuvenated?'
He said: 'No but I have entered Islam with Muhammad the Messenger of God and from now on not a grain of wheat will come to you from al-Yamamah unless the Prophet gives permission.'
Al-Yamamah was an agricultural area depended upon by Mecca. Thamamah left for his lands and prevented cargo from reaching Mecca until the Quraysh suffered. They wrote to the Messenger of God calling upon their bonds of kinship with him so that he would write to Thamamah to let them carry food to Mecca. This the Messenger of God did.
Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"
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