Story No. 158 – Umm Jamil bint Harb, the Wife of Abu Lahab harming Muhammad, The Last Prophet (saw)
Abu Lahab’s wife was among the leading women of the Quraish and she was known as Umm Jamil (Umme Jamila). Her name was Arwah bint Harb ibn Umayyah. She was a squint-eyed woman equally bad tempered, like her husband; mischievous and grossly wicked. She cooperated with him in hostilities and hindrances against Islam. She was supportive of her husband in his disbelief, rejection and obstinacy. Therefore, she will be helping to administer his punishment in the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgment.
Umm Jamil bint Harb, the Wife of Abu Lahab harming Muhammad, The Last Prophet (saw)When the verse “May the hands of Abu Lahab perish, may he (himself) perish” was revealed in Noble Qur’an, the one-eyed Umm Jamil bint Harb came out wailing, and she had a stone in her hand. She was saying, ‘He criticizes our father, and his religion is our scorn, and his command is to disobey us.’
Muhammad, The Last Prophet (saw) was sitting in the Masjid (of the Kaaba) and Abu Bakr was with him. When Abu Bakr saw her he said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! She is coming and I fear that she will see you.’ Muhammad, The Last Prophet (saw) replied, (Verily, she will not see me.) Then he (saw) recited a verse from Noble Qur’an as a protection for himself. “And when you recite the Qur’an, We place between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter a hidden barrier.” (Noble Qur’an 17:45) So she advanced until she was standing in front of Abu Bakr and she did not see Muhammad, The Last Prophet (saw). She then said, ‘O Abu Bakr! Verily, I have been informed that your friend is making defamatory poetry about me.’ Abu Bakr replied, ‘Nay! By the Lord of this House (the Kaaba) he is not defaming you.’ So she turned away saying, ‘Indeed the Quraish know that I am the daughter of their leader.’
Umm Jamil used to collect thorny sticks and bundle them up with a rope. In the night she used to spread them along the path that Muhammad, The Last Prophet (saw) used to take to go to the mosque for prayers early in the morning.
Muhammad, The Last Prophet (saw) used to move them aside but some of the thorns used to prick his feet and get entangled in his clothes.
She also used to incite people by carrying tales from one place to the other (gossip) and this also gave her the title as the ‘carrier of firewood’.
Note: Umm Jamil (Umme Jamila) died strangled with the rope with which she carried the wood.
Prophecy: A sign of the Miracle of the Noble Qur’an
We know that these verses (Noble Qur’an, 111:1-5) were revealed in Makkah, and it was announced that Abu Lahab and his wife Umm Jamil (Umme Jamila) will roast in the fire of Hell, implying they will not believe in the Truth and never become Muslim and therefore they will enter the hell fire.
This Surah was revealed 10 years before Abu Lahab died as an unbeliever. Many of Abu Lahab’s friends and other disbelievers accepted Islam in the span of 10 years since this Surah was revealed. Hence this is one of the prophecies of the Noble Qur’an came true.