Ubaydah Ibn Al-Harith
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Ubaydah Ibn Al-Harith

Ubaydah ibn al-Harith (Arabic: ‎) (c.562-624) was a cousin[1] and a companion of Muhammad.

Ubaydah was the son of Al-Harith ibn Muttalib ibn Abdmanaf ibn Qusayy,[2][3] hence a second cousin of Abd Allah ibn Abd al Muttalib and of Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib. His mother, Sukhayla bint Khuza'i, was from the Thaqif tribe. He had two full brothers, Al-Tufayl and Al-Husayn, who were more than twenty years younger than himself. Ubaydah's appearance is described as "medium, swarthy, with a handsome face."[3]

Ubaydah is known for shooting the first arrow of Islam[4][5] and for being the first Muslim to die on the battlefield in defense of Islam.[6]


Ubaydah became a Muslim before Muhammad entered the house of Al-Arqam in 614.[3] His name is twelfth on Ibn Ishaq's list of people who accepted Islam at the invitation of Abu Bakr.[2]

In 622 Ubaydah and his brothers, together with their young cousin Mistah ibn Uthatha, joined the general emigration to Medina.[3] They boarded with Abdullah ibn Salama in Quba[7] until Muhammad allotted them some land in Medina. Muhammad gave Ubaydah two brothers in Islam: Abu Bakr's freedman Bilal ibn Rabah and an ansar named Umayr ibn Al-Humam.[8]

Military expeditions

Some say that Ubaydah was the first to whom Muhammad gave a banner on a military expedition; others say Hamza was the first.[9] In April 623 Muhammad sent Ubaydah with a party of sixty armed Muhajirun to the valley of Rabigh. They expected to intercept a Quraysh caravan that was returning from Syria under the protection of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb and 200 armed riders.[9][10][11][12][13] The Muslim party travelled as far as the wells at Thanyat al-Murra,[10][12] where Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas shot an arrow at the Quraysh. This is known as the first arrow of Islam.[10][11][14] Despite this surprise attack, "they did not unsheathe a sword or approach one another," and the Muslims returned empty-handed.[9][11][12]


He was killed in the Battle of Badr in 624 when Shaybah ibn Rabi'ah cut off his leg. It is alleged that he composed poetry while he was dying:

You may cut off my leg, yet I am a Muslim.
I hope in exchange for a life near to Allah,
with Houris fashioned like the most beautiful statues,
with the highest heaven for those who mount there...[15]

He was buried at Al-Safra.[9]

He was the first Muslim to be killed in battle.[16] Muslims regard him as a shahid,[17] a word that cannot easily be translated into English but refers to a Muslim who dies in the course of his Islamic duties.

Following his death, his widow Zaynab became Muhammad's fifth wife.[18]


He had a wife, Zaynab bint Khuzaimah. By her, he was the father of nine children: Muawiya, Awn, Munqidh, Al-Harith, Ibrahim, Rabta, Khadija, Suhaykhla, Amina and Safiya.[3]

See also

Shahid= martyr

External links


  1. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 128.
  2. ^ a b Muhammad ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah. Translated by Guillaume, A. (1955). The Life of Muhammad, p. 116. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ a b c d e Muhammad ibn Saad, Tabaqat vol. 3. Translated by Bewley, A. (2013). The Companions of Badr, p. 36. London: Ta-Ha Publishers.
  4. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 128.
  5. ^ Muir, Sir William (1877). The Life of Mohammed. London.
  6. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 136.
  7. ^ Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume, p. 218.
  8. ^ Ibn Saad/Bewley, pp. 36-37.
  9. ^ a b c d Ibn Saad/Bewley, p. 37.
  10. ^ a b c Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume, p. 281.
  11. ^ a b c Haykal, M. H. (1935). Translated by al-Faruqi, I. R. A. (1976). The Life of Muhammad, p. 256. Chicago: North American Trust Publications.
  12. ^ a b c Mubarakpuri, S. R. (1979). Ar-Raheeq Al-Maktum (The Sealed Nectar), p. 92. Riyadh: Darussalem Publishers.
  13. ^ Hawarey, Dr. Mosab (2010). The Journey of Prophecy; Days of Peace and War (Arabic). Islamic Book Trust. ISBN 9789957051648.Note: Book contains a list of battles of Muhammad in Arabic, English translation available here
  14. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:57:74
  15. ^ Ibn Ishaq/Guillaume p. 349.
  16. ^ Razwy, Sayed Ali Asgher. A Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims. p. 136.
  17. ^ Waqidi, Kitab al-Maghazi. Translated by Faizer, R., Ismail, A., & Tayob, A. (2011). The Life of Muhammad, pp. 36, 73. Oxford: Routledge.
  18. ^ Ibn Hisham note 918.

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