Abdullah B Hudhafah (d. 30 H) عبدالله بن حذافة

Abdullah B Hudhafah (d. 30 H) عبدالله بن حذافة

An early Muslim, he was among the second batch of 82 men and women, along with his brother Qays ibn Hudhafah, who emigrated to Abyssinia. A humorous man who played practical jokes even on the Prophet (saws). It was he who, when upset, had asked his companions, whom he was leading in a campaign, to gather wood, light a fire and jump into it. They refused, saying that it was to escape the fire that they had embraced Islam. He had once prodded the Prophet's camel, scaring her, and making her to jump forward. He did it as a joke. He was the one who had carried the Prophet's letter to the emperor of Persia, inviting him to Islam. His choice demonstrates that being humorous has no negative effect on a person’s faith or character.

Once he was reciting loudly during a day-Prayer. The Prophet told him, “Lower your voice, aspire to make Allah listen to you and not us.” On one occasion, the Prophet was upset over something and said, “Ask me whatever you want.” He got up and asked, “Who is my father?” The Prophet answered, “Hudhafah.” (This is because there was some doubt among the common people regarding his lineage).Later, his mother reproached him, “What kind of a man are you? Were you not afraid that your mother could have done something inappropriate in pre-Islamic days, and you would have put her to shame?” He answered, “If he had told me that your father is a dark slave, I would go and join him.”

After the Prophet (saws), he accompanied a force sent against the Romans in 19 H. He was taken a prisoner along with many others. The emperor asked him to abandon Islam and accept Christianity. He refused. He was ordered to be crucified. They hung him on a cross, but when he did not yield, the emperor ordered that a huge basin be filled with oil and heated up. When it was ready, he ordered that a Muslim prisoner be offered Christianity and if he refused, to be thrown into it. That was done and ``Abdullah saw him boiled to death. Then it was ordered that ``Abdullah ibn Hudhafah be also thrown into it. When they were about to do it, he began to cry. The emperor asked him the reason. He said he was regretful that he did not have a hundred lives to offer in the way of Allah. The emperor made another offer: he would spare `Abdullah if he would kiss his forehead. `Abdullah refused. Then the emperor offered that he would spare him and eighty Muslim prisoners if he would kiss his forehead. `Abdullah accepted. When he came back to `Umar he got up and kissed his forehead.

Some of his companions used to reproach him saying, “Are you the one who kissed the head of a non-Muslim?” He would reply that that kiss had saved the life of 80 Muslims.

He died in 30 H during the caliphate of `Uthman, in Egypt where he was buried.