Slavery is a disgrace in the history of humanity. Being a property of someone while you are the noblest 0f all creation… Slaves are some “things” which have no rights nor limits. They are not even considered humans.
No emotions. No ideas. No desires. If and only if they are beings, they were created to serve their masters, even worse than animals. Whip cracks, days long starving, dark dungeons with full of rats and the shackles on their hands and feet…
Poor people even though they were being beaten mercilessly, forced to do all the dirty jobs, obeyed and did not even think about revolting. Fake gods and fake sacrifices were all over the world. Stinky rich masters and their servants, courtesans and slaves who are ready to satisfy their wild desires.
Amir ibn Fuhayra was only one of them. Born in 585, Amir was a slave of Tufayl ibn al-Harith from Banu Taym. He was living among his master’s drove of slaves, with no rights today, hope in the future. He was a black slave  who was going to be forgotten when he dies. Freedom was something that he didn’t know nor feel, something he only heard from stories and songs. When his life had lost its meaning and hope, he met with the Islam’s noble prophet.
Chose Iman at the Age of 23
In the first days Islam, Our Beloved Prophet was secretly calling his closest friends and relatives to Islam. In every single house, Quraishis were talking about Islam with hatred and fury. This was because this new religion was against the religion of their forefathers which was based on persecution and fake idols of fake gods all around and inside Kaaba. This religion which sees everyone equal like teeth of a comb and takes the master and the slave to the same level had to be destroyed. No one shall not become a Muslim. The Prophet of Allah must be left alone.
The most dangerous thing to do would be to be Muslim back those days. Even talking with the Prophet of Islam, being seen together required bravery. There were only a handful of men who were brave enough. Those first Muslims, also called As-Sabiqun Al-Awwalun, were the bravest and the most honorable on Earth. One of those heroes was Amir ibn Fuhayra who became a Muslim when he was 23. He became a Muslim before our beloved prophet entered Dar al-Arqam.
It was inexcusable for a 23-years-old slave to become a Muslim, go against his Master, deny the gods of Quraysh. Amir had to be punished to regret his decision like when the Pharaoh killed the magicians by torture when they became Muslim without his permission. The ones who owned his body thought that they also owned his soul and his emotions. Amir had to think like his master, believe like his master, and accept the rules of his master without questioning. By any chance, if a slave was going against his master, doing things without his master knowing, he had to be disciplined immediately. Young Amir challenged the world by becoming a Muslim, risked dying in utter pain.
We Deny Lat and Uzza!
Batha Valley was filled with the threats of the polytheists and screams of the Muslims they were torturing. When the sun was at the highest point, on top of hot rocks as if they were burning, a 23-years-old young man was being whipped, held in an armor burning from heat, or left starving for days in the middle of desert.
Who was more powerful? Amir’s masters or his Lord whom he believed to be the only god? Every time Amir was beaten, he said Allah. His masters were beating him until he couldn’t speak anymore.
Leaders of Quraysh were tying ropes to him, giving their ends to children and idlers. Amir and Bilal were being dragged through the streets of Mecca, drenched in blood. However, they could not stop Amir and Bilal from believing in their cause. They were shouting:
“We deny Al-Lat and Al-Uzza! We deny Buwanah!”
Insults, threats and torture couldn’t make Amir change him religion. Persecutions that people couldn’t bear to watch only strengthened his faith. His masters couldn’t understand why their slave was disobeying although he was doing what they said in the past. How could a human endure such tortures, enter a war without any powerful supporters? Quraysh’s leaders thought they would win this war in any case. However, this slave not obeying them was frustrating them. If they were to kill, they would make the slaves heroes, and themselves losers. With this in mind, they were going harder and harder on them every day.
I Just Seek My Lord’s Pleasure
When Amir and his friends were being persecuted, Islam’s noble hero Abu Bakr was in search of ways that could save them. He decided to spend all his wealth that he gained from caravans to save them. He went to Amir’s master, Tufayl ibn Al-Harith, and bought Amir. Also, he bought and freed Bilal Al-Habashi, Abu Fukayha, and the suffering females, Lubaynah, Nahdiyyah and her daughter, Zunairah al-Rumiya and her daughter Umm Ubays.
No one, even his family, couldn’t understand why he spent so much on freeing Muslims. What could he possibly earn from freeing those people, who were seen worthless because of the color of their skin? Abu Bakr answered his father “I just seek my Lord’s pleasure.”
Qur’an heralded Abu Bakr that he won his Lord’s approval and he will be pleased. In order to enter Heaven, there was a steep slope which he had to climb. The way to climb that slope was to strive to free people who were slaves of slaves. Abu Bakr was the leader of this effort, closest friend of The Prophet, and his greatest supporter. From now on, Amir, Bilal and others were a valuable part of Abu Bakr’s family.
On the Way to Hijrah
The Lord of the worlds did not leave the ones whom gave up their worldly lives to seek his approval, heralded them with rewards they could not even imagine. During that time, Amir ibn Fuhayra was preparing for the journey to Madinah, in which he was going to be the companion of The Prophet.
The apostle of Allah and Abu Bakr started the journey and arrived at Cave of Sawr. Meccans were searching for them everywhere, raiding homes, promising insane wealth on their head dead or alive. Our beloved stayed in the cave for three days. At that time, Abu Bakr’s son Abdullah told the Prophet about what was happening in Mecca after sunset, leaving the cave at midnight. Then, Amir was grazing his lambs around the cave to erase Abdullah’s footprints and preparing meals for the Prophet.
When things calmed down after three days, the Prophet, Abu Bakr and their guide Abdullah ibn Uraiqat continued the holy journey to Madinah. What about Amir ibn Fuhayra? The Apostle of Allah did not leave him alone. He mounted the same camel with Abu Bakr and went to Madinah.
Have you ever seen the Prophet? Have you ever talked with him for an hour? Have you ever had a close brush with death with him? Well, have you seen any miracles of him, ever drank milk from his hands? Were you there when the Prophet was inviting eighty people to Islam?
Amir bin Fuhayrah was there for one week right next to the Prophet.
Scribe of the Prophet
Amir ibn Fuhayra was watching the Prophet to protect him while Suraqa ibn Malik was pursuing them for the bounty of a hundred camels on their head. When Suraqa’s horse sank into sand, he understood he could not kill the Prophet. When he found himself as the apostle of Allah, he apologized. Amir was watching this with happiness. When Suraqa requested a statement of security and peace, our Beloved did not disappoint him. Amir wrote it down on a small leather.
When they tired from immense heat, they stayed in the tent of a woman named Umm Ma’bad. They could not find anything to eat. They saw a dry lamb. The prophet milked it and they drank from his hands. Amir was there when Buraydah ibn al-Husayb and eighty friends of him showed up in front of the Prophet. When the sun went down, eighty people prayed there together.
The journey which they were on the razor’s edge, full of distress but really joyful for Amir was coming to an end as they were arriving at Quba. A new life was beginning for Amir ibn Fuhayra.
The ones who suffered for Allah’s sake, and who are forced to leave their homeland, how honorable they are! Leaving your home, loved ones for Allah and going to unknown places, how hard it is! The companions that immigrated to Madinah truly suffered a lot.
According to Aisha, Madinah was a sickly place and had a really stale air. After Hijrah, many Meccan Muslims couldn’t adapt and became ill. Abu Bakr was also sick. He said:
“One in the morning may lie amidst his family and death may be nearer to him than his sandal's strap.”
Bilal was expressing his longing by poems, imprecating the ones whom forced them to migrate from Mecca:
“O, would I that I spent a night at Fakh where idhkhir and jalil plants surround me! And would that I some day visit Majannah water to drink it, and see Shamah and Tafil (mountains)!
Amir ibn Fuhayra was also sick and lying with them, telling: “I have found death before I tasted it.”
Our lovely Prophet was really sad because of all this suffering, praying to Allah to help them: “Make Madinah, O Allah, wholesome for us as thou hast made Mecca for us.”
The Prophet declared Ansar1 and Muhajirun2 as brothers to break the ice between them and make them sincere to each other. With this, Amir ibn Fuhayra and Harith ibn al-Avs ibn al-Muaz became brothers.
When Meccan polytheists came to Badr and Uhud to destroy Islam, Amir came to defend Islam with the Apostle of Allah.
The Disaster of Bir Ma’una
It was 4 years since Hijrah. Abu Bara, leader of Banu Amir in Najd, came to Madinah and met with the Prophet. Although he did not become a Muslim, he requested the Prophet to send some Muslims to the people of Najd to call them to Islam. Our Beloved was worried that people of Najd might do harm to Muslims. Abu Bara promised he would protect Muslims and take them under his patronage.
The Apostle of Allah sent seventy companions from Ashab al-Suffa3 to Najd. These companions were living in the Masjid, spending their days with the Prophet. He was lecturing them everyday, taking care of them in person. When the group arrived to somewhere called Bir Ma’una, Haram ibn Milhan gave a letter from the Prophet to the Abu Bara’s nephew Amir ibn Tufayl. He invited Amir to Islam with the letter. In response, Amir and his men violently slaughtered him. Afterwards, they encircled Muslims. Although the Muslims stated they did not come here to fight, they were envoys of the Prophet, Amir and his men did not listen and attacked them. Muslims there fought to the last drop of blood and became martyrs.
By The Lord of Kaaba, I Won
Amir was among these martyrs. He invited Jabbar ibn Sulma to Islam, who wanted to kill himself, Jabbar attacked him with his spear. Jabbar’s spear entered Amir’s back and sprouted out his chest. With his last breath, Amir said: “By the Lord of Kaaba, I won!” Jabbar could not understand this. Jabbar was the one who killed him, yet Amir won. What did he think he won? Could the killed one win? He was confused, thought about Amir’s last words for days. Finally, he learned there was Heaven and Amir entered Heaven. Jabbar became a Muslim. Last words of an invitor of Islam led a man to the right way, the martyr gave a life to the world one more time.
Jabbar ibn Sulma and Amir ibn Tufayl reported they saw Amir’s corpse rising to the sky and descend back to the ground with their eyes. Allah’s Apostle said that angels had buried Amir’s corpse.
Amir, our Beloved’s companion in hijrah, scribe, student, warrior in the name of Allah was forty years old when he fell a martyr. Our dear Prophet was not sad for anything as much as Amir and his friends. He cursed the murderers of his friends for days.
Ansar: The local inhabitants of Medina who took the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his followers (the Muhajirun) into their homes when they emigrated from Mecca (hijra).
Muhajirun: The first converts to Islam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad's advisors and relatives, who emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina.
Ashab al Suffa: A general name given to young, unmarried and poor citizens who dwelled in Suffas, which were established by the Islamic prophet Muhammad next to Al-Masjid an-Nabawi.