Perishing Hands

Abu Lahub and his wife Um-e-Jameel were uncle and aunt of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). When Holy Prophet (PBUH) would preach Islam publicly, Abu Lahub declaring him a lunatic and insane would tell the audience not to listen to him. His wife would collect the thorny bushes to spread on the paths of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Sura Lahub, 111th Sura of the Holy Quran was revealed about that.

“Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he! No profit to him from all his wealth and all his gains. Burnt soon will he be in a fire of Blazing Flame! His wife shall carry the cracking wood as fuel! A twisted rope of palm-leaf fiber rounds her neck!”

Upon hearing that she had been condemned, she came to rebuke Holy Prophet (PBUH). Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sitting in the Ka’aba with his companion Abu Bakkar (RA). She approached Abu Bakkar (RA) and asked him. “Where is your friend? I have come to know that he rehearses couplets against me. I will hit his face with these stones, if I found hint” After creating quite a scene she left from there. Bewildered Abu Bakkar (RA) inquired the Holy Prophet (PBUH) how was that she couldn’t see you. Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied, “God had suspended her vision in this regard for the moment.”

Lahub literally means flame. Real name of Lahub was Abdul Uzza. He was white and in temper and emotion would grow red and for that reason he was addressed as Abu Lahub (the father of flame). He was treasurer of the committee responsible for the affairs of holy Ka’aba. That committee was the custodian of all the collections received in the holy ka’aba, which was supposed to be spent on the needy and poor people and arrangements for the pilgrims coming there. But, practically, the major portion of all that collection would go into his personal account. Upon listening to the invitation for Islam, he feared to be deprived of all those privileges, honors and chances to embezzle the funds of Ka’aba. So he opted to oppose the Holy Prophet (PBUH)’s preaching and excelled in his animosity.

In this Sura of the holy Quran, prediction of ending of the political career of the staunchest opponent of the holy Prophet (PBUH) was made, which was later on fulfilled to its words and letters. After the holy war of Baddar, he suffered from small pox and his sons, family relatives and near ones did not nursed him properly fearing the infection and he died in such a state of helplessness that his dead body kept on lying for many days without any burial. Finally, in the wake of gossips in public, his sons hired few laborers to throw his dead body in a ditch in the north of Makka and pelted it with stones to cover.

Um-e-Jameel was a very beautiful woman and enjoyed the status of the first lady. The lady who used to wear the precious necklaces embedded with diamonds and other precious stones, according to this Sura of the holy Quran, would be made to wear the thick rope of palm-leaves around her neck in the Hereafter and she would live there as a maid appointed to gather woods. This would be the state of humiliation and degradation of Abu Lahub and his wife who was an accomplice of her husband in torturing the faithful Companions and Holy Prophet (PBUH) for their animosity and acrimony against him and his teachings.

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