Abd Munaaf ibne Qasi

His real name was Mughira and the Kuniyat Abu Abd Shams. Because of his extreme good looks he was called as Qamr al Batha. Because of his charitable disposition and reverence he was called Al Sayed. Although the elder son of Qasi, Abd al Dar was the keeper of the keys of the Kaaba, the leadership of Qureish was vested in Abd Munaaf. In fact, because of his wisdom and sagacity, he rose to the leadership of the tribe during the lifetime of his father! Dayar Bakri writes:

“Abd Munaaf rose to the leadership of the tribe during the lifetime of his father. The Qureish used to abide by all his commands. “” Ref: Tareeq e Khamees, Vol 1, Page 156

He followed the ways of his illustrious father and perpetrated the institutions of reform established by him. Abd Munaaf left behind four sons: Hashim, Mutallib, Abd Shams and Naufil. Hashim and Mutallib are remembered as Al Badran or two moons!

Hashim Ibne Abd Munaaf

His real name was Umro and because of his imposing personality he was called Umro al Ula. His Kunyat was Abu Nazla, his title Sayed al Batha and Abul Batha. His mother was Aatika. Instead of his name and Kunyat, he was better known as Hashim. The reason for this name was that once, during a famine, he got large number of breads cooked, loaded them on camels and brought from Syria to Makka. He got a soup prepared from the
meat of the camels, shredded the breads into smaller chunks, doused them in to large bowls of the soup and fed the people and the visitors to Makka. From that day people started calling him Hashim that means one who makes shreds.

Hashim and Abd Shams were born as twins. One was born with his palm attached to the forehead of the other. Both were separated from each other with the blow of a sword. At that time it was predicted that the progeny of both will fight with each other. Therefore there was always conflict going on between the two families. These two brothers were the forerunners of the Bani Hashim and Bani Omayya. These two families were poles apart as far as their thoughts and beliefs were concerned. The first conflict came about between Hashim and Omayya the son of Abd Shams. Then there was fight between Abd al Mutallib, the son of Hashim, and Harb the son of Omayya. After Harb, his son, Abu Sufian challenged the Prophet of Islam (s.a) and fought many battles with him. After Abu Sufian his son, Muawiya fought many gory battles with Hazrat Ali (a.s.). Thereafter, Yazid, the son of Muawiya, martyred Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his small group of companions. Thus, the enmity between Banu Hashim and Banu Omayya went on for generation together. Even after embracing Islam, there was no change in the treacherous nature of Bani Omayya, and they used all the stratagems to annihilate Bani Hashim.

Hashim and Abd Shams, though of the same parentage and grand parentage, they were as different as a flower and a thorn growing on the same plant. Hashim was a person of great character and nobility. There always used to be a group of needy persons surrounding him for help. The economic growth of the Qureish, to a great extent, was due to the help and assistance of Hashim. He inculcated the idea of trade and commerce in the minds of the Qureish and put them on the path of progress. Even prior to Hazrat Hashim, Qureish had some idea of trade and commerce, but it was restricted to dealing only in local transactions. One reason for calling them as Qureish is that the word comes from Taqrush that means work, trade and commerce. Hashim took his trading activities forward and extended it to the markets of Syria and beyond to Abyssinia. He also encouraged the Qureish to follow in his foot-steps. He organized trading caravans to Abyssinia and Yemen during the winters and to Syria, Gaza and Ankara during the summer months. The Caesar of Rome used to hold him in high respect. With his influence on the Caesar, he obtained a charter from him that the merchandise of the Qureish would not be charged any taxes in his realm, facilities of travel to be extended to the trading caravans and safety was guaranteed. This increased the trading activities of the Qureish by leaps and bounds.

It has been mentioned while discussing about Qasi that he had nominated his elder son, Abdul Dar, as the keeper of the Kaaba, but he was not able to prove himself equal to the task. Nor anyone from his progeny rose to prove their capability. Matters went from bad to worse and When Hashim saw that Banu abd al Dar were grossly incapable of delivering the goods, he had a discussion with his brothers Mutallib, Naufil and Abd Shams and they all agreed that the responsibility of the upkeep of the Kaaba must be taken

away from Banu Abd al Dar. They were certain that as long as the management was not changed, things could not be set right. When Banu Abd al Dar heard of the plans of their removal, they came up for armed conflict. On the other hand the progeny of Abd Manaf too got ready to fight. The Arab tribes got divided into two groups. Bani Asad, Bani Zahra, Bani Tameem and Bani Harith joined the ranks of the progeny of Abd Munaf. The other group consisted of Bani Makhzoom, Bani Sahm and Bani Adi who sided with Bani Abd al Dar. Bani Abd Manaf and their cohorts were called Mutayyebeen and the group of Bani Abd al Dar was called the Ahlaaf. Skirmishes were about to break out between the opposing groups when some well meaning arbiters intervened and suggested that a truce should be struck through negotiations. They felt that the consequences of a battle might be very serious. Thus an agreement was reached that the functions of Saqaya and Rafada were to be with Bani Abd Manaf and that of Nadwa, Hijab and Lava ( the standard) to remain in the charge of Bani Abd al Dar. When this agreement was concluded, Bani Abd Manaf drew lots amongst themselves for the control of the departments of Saqaya and Rafada. The lottery went in the favor of Hashim who assumed control of the two departments.

Hazrat Hashim took prompt action to reform the two departments. He improved the arrangements for provision of food and water to the Hajis. He got two new wells, Sajla and Bazzur, dug to increase the availability of water. He perfected the two schemes started by his grand-father, Qasi. Nearer the Haj season he would assemble the Qureish near the Kaaba and give them detailed instructions about providing services to the Hajis. He would tell them:

“O group of Qureish! You are resident in the neighborhood of Allah and live in His House! The time has come that the pilgrims to the House of Allah are about to come to pay their obeisance. They are all the guests of Allah and deserve all the respect and care from you. Therefore, revere Allah’s guests and take good care of them!”

Ref: Ansaab al Ashraaf, Vol 1, Page 60

After giving this sermon, he used to organize the funds. He used to raise some contributions from the Qureish but the major part of the funds used to be from his own pocket. He always took care that the Hajis coming from far away places were taken good care of. Eating places were arranged in Makka and Muna and cool, sweet drinking water was copiously provided in leathern containers.

Aswad Ibne Shaar Kalabi had himself witnessed this open house.He writes that when he was the representative of a wealthy lady of his tribe, he used to travel to various places with her merchandise. Once he passed through Muna and Arafat while the Haj season was on. It was a dark night. He spent the night at one spot. When he awoke in the morning he noticed tall leather tents of Taef hitched at a distance. When he went a little forward, he found large cauldrons placed on smouldering fires. Some animals had already been butchered and some more were about to be cut. Servants were flitting around the place doing their tasks. He was astonished to see the bustle of activity. He felt the urge to meet the chief of the tribe. He went
further forward and found a carpeted, tall tent where the chiefs of the Qureish were seated in a circle. At the center of this group was seated an imposing personality holding a staff in his hand and wearing a black scarf on his head. From the scarf hung long tufts of hair on his shoulders.. He was much impressed with the scene. At this moment he heard someone shouting from an elevated place at some distance, “O visitors to the house of Allah! Do come to have your meals!” From another place two persons were announcing, “Those who have taken their mid-day meal should come again for their dinner!” Aswad says that he had heard from the Jewish Scholars that this was the period when the Nabi Ummi, the unlettered Prophet, would appear. Observing the grand feast he felt whether the person seated there is himself the prophet? He asked one person about the identity of the chief who sat surrounded by his companions in the tent. The person said that it was Abu Nazla Hashim ibne Abd Manaf. Hearing this Aswad said:

“By God! This is real grandeur and not the grandeur of aal e Jafna ( the kings of Syria)!”

Ref: Tareeq e Yaqoobi, Vol 1, Page 243

This generosity of Hashim made him popular throughout the Arab lands. Omayya ibne Abd Shams, who was a person of mean disposition, was jealous of Hashim’s popularity. He was working under acute inferiority complex and was blue with envy. He looked forward to every opportunity to lower Hashim in the estimation of the people and somehow occupy his position. With this aim he used his wealth to throw lavish feasts. But he lacked the natural instinct of kindness and generosity that Hashim had. The people could read through his hypocrisy. He realized that this stratagem of his would not work, and after throwing a couple of parties he gave up. This proved more humiliating for him. People started ridiculing and making fun of him. Omayya, meanwhile, was in a frenzy of anger and jealousy. Unable to face the taunts of the people any more, he used unsavory language against Hashim. In accordance with the custom of the time he threw a challenge of munafara. Munafera required an arbiter to decide who was the more eminent of the two contesting parties. Hashim was above all this that he would take recourse to such subterfuges to prove his worth. But the Qureish persuaded him to accept the challenge. Hashim agreed on the condition that the defeated party must give fifty black eyed she-camels to the victor and should shun the residence of Makka for ten years. Omayya agreed to abide by these conditions. They both agreed to have the Hermit Qazayi as the arbitrator. When both of them presented their case to him, he instantly decided in favor of Hashim confirming his nobility and eminence. Hashim took the fifty camels from Omayya, got them slaughtered and threw a public feast in Makka. Omayya moved away from Makka to Safuria where he spent ten years in exile. This created enmity between the two important clans of Arabia. Balazari writes:

“This was the first manifestation of hate and enmity that appeared between Hashim and Omayya.

Ref: Ansaab al Ashraaf, Vol 1, Page 61

Hashim was a great personage of his time whose noble descent, stature and nobility have been highly recognized. Not only in Hedjaz, but in places
far away from there, his name and fame spread. Even the ruling princes of the time used to hold him in high respect. The king of Rome and the Najashi of Abyssinia went to the extent of offering the hands of their daughters in marriage to Hashim. But he decided not to marry out of the Hedjaz. He took several Arab wives from different tribes. The most significant, and important, marriage was with a girl from the Bani Najjar branch of the tribe of Khazraj. The progeny from this marriage was the line that was later to bear the Prophet of Islam (s.a.). It is said that Hashim dreamed that he must marry Salma binte Omro who was residing at Yathrib. This was a lady of great character and nobility. Diyar Bakri writes:

Salma, in intelligence and sagacity, was of the same caliber in her time, as was Hazrat Khadija later on.

Ref: Tareeq e Khamis, Vol 1, Page 158

After seeing this dream, Hashim went to Madina with a few relatives and stayed at the place of Omro ibne Zaid. He treated the guests lavishly and asked about the purpose of their visit. When a proposal was made for the hand of his daughter in marriage to Hashim, he agreed. But he made one condition that if Salma gave birth to a son, he should stay in Yathrib. Hashim agreed to this condition and the marriage was celebrated. After this function, Hashim proceeded to Syria on a business trip. On his return from there he took Salma to Makka along with him. After some time, Salma was pregnant. Hashim therefore shifted her to Yathrib and proceeded on another business trip to Syria. This proved the last journey for Hashim. He was seriously ill for a few days, died, and was interred at Gaza, a place about six miles from Asqalan.

When Hashim’s companions from the caravan broke the sad news of his demise in Makka and Yathrib, there was immense mourning. Every person talked of his generosity, kindness and affectionate disposition. This sad news came to Salma like a thunderbolt. The birth of a posthumous son gave her solace. This son was Abd al Mutallib.

Hazrat Hashim had several sons but two of them had issues. One of them was Asad and the other Abd al Mutallib. Asad had one son whose name was Hunain, who remained issueless. Asad had one daughter, Fatima, who was married to Hazrat Abu Talib and bore Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and other sons. The other son of Hashim, Abd al Matallib had sons and the Hashemite progeny progressed through him. Ibne Qatiba writes about this:

“The Hashemites on the face of the earth are all the progeny of Abd al Mutallib. “”

Ref: Al Ma-aarif, Page 33.


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