Hind bint Utbah was the daughter of Utbah ibn Rabiah and Saffiyah bint Umayyah. She was the wife of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb (ra) and the mother of Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (ra).
She was a woman of eloquence, zeal, determination, and self-confidence.
A Visionary Mother
Passing by a town with Muawiyah (ra) when someone commented that her son will become a leader of his tribe, she replied, “Only his tribe’s? I want to see him as the leader of the entire world.” Her vision for her child was that of splendour.
Lessons to draw: Do we have any vision for our children? What kind of a vision is that? Is it limited to their worldly success or are we also concerned about their eternal success?
Husband’s Companion in War and Peace
Hind (ra) was both a heroine and a villainess. As an unbeliever, she was determined to wipe out Islam and its followers. She never shied away from voicing her opinion and regularly counselled her husband on the political front.
When she lost her father, uncle and brother in the Battle of Badr, she did not shed a tear. She had to plot revenge. She picked an expert javelin thrower who seldom missed his target. On the promise of manumission and gold, Wahshi ibn Harb was to kill Hamza (ra). Assigning the task, Hind (ra) did not sit back home. Rather, she was present in the battlefield along with some other women singing and boasting about their family honour and pride. She kept her eye on Wahshi ibn Harb and as soon as Hamza (ra) was down she entered the battlefield to proceed with what she had to do.
Lessons to draw: In a society, where only men are seen as guardians, we see Hind (ra) as a powerful woman. She did not find herself weak though she had lost a father, an uncle and a brother, all at the same time. Instead of wasting her energy or losing her senses wailing over them she planned her next course of action. While her determination was for a wrong cause, we see a woman who was focused and could not be deterred. She identified the best person for her task and did not sit back home. She made sure her goal was achieved. How determined are we about our goals? And how well-planned are our goals?
Conversion to Islam
Abu Sufyan (ra) and Hind (ra) accepted Islam after the conquest of Makkah.
When Abu Sufyan (ra) accepted Islam he returned to his tribe and invited them to the True Faith. He confirmed that Muhammad (sa) was indeed the true messenger of Allah (swt), and that it is for their own good to embrace Islam. Hind (ra) could not believe her ears. How could her husband be supporting their greatest enemy? She called him a traitor and incited her tribe to kill him. Abu Sufyan (ra) firmly informed his people that there was no way that they could fight the Muslims now. Their salvation lied in accepting the Truth.
Now that the Prophet (sa) and his followers were settled in Makkah, Hind (ra) watched them closely. She was an intelligent woman and did not believe in hearsay. One day she approached her husband and requested him to take her to the Prophet (sa). She was so impressed by the focused worship of the Muslims that she had no reasons to believe that this was a false religion.
Abu Sufyan (ra) though pleased with his wife’s decision worried about her act in the Battle of Uhud. He did not wish to upset the Prophet (sa) by reminding him that his wife mutilated his beloved uncle. He advised her to take some women from her tribe and visit the Messenger (sa). Hind (ra) gathered some women and requested Uthman ibn Affan (ra) to accompany them.
Hind (ra) still felt remorse for what she had done with Hamza (ra). To hide her shame, she veiled her face so that the Prophet (sa) would not recognise her. After testifying and taking her oath of allegiance she removed her veil. She was a woman of pride and self-respect she could not hide her identity. The Prophet (sa) made no mention of what happened at the Battle of Uhud, and welcomed her into Islam. Hind (ra) said, “By Allah (swt), there was no house on earth that I wanted to destroy more than your house. Now, there is no house on earth that I so dearly wish to honour and raise in glory than yours.”
The once vicious enemies of Islam, Abu Sufyan (ra) and Hind (ra) now worked for the promotion of this religion. The lady who used to sing fierce poetry for the opponents of the Prophet (sa), now recited Qur’anic verses to keep the morale of Muslim soldiers high. Such is the fruit of guidance!
Lessons to draw: We see how one can channel their energy towards positive endeavours.
(Adapted from the book: Seerat e Sahabiyat k Darakshan Pehlu by and the lectures of Dr. Farhat Hashmi: Seerat e Sahabiyat)