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Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum

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Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum

Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum (Arabic: عبد الله بن أم مكتوم‎) (died 636) was a companion of Islamic prophet Muhammad. In some traditions his name has also appeared as `Amr ibn Umm-Maktum. The first verses of Abasa, the 80th sura of Qur'an, are considered to be revealed in an incident connected to him.[1]

Biography

Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum was the son of Qays ibn Sayd and Aatikah bint Abdullah. He was blind by birth and hence his mother was called Umm-Maktum (Mother of the concealed one). Ibn Umm-Maktum was a cousin of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Muhammad's first wife.

Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum was among the first converts to Islam. Muhammad sent him and Mus`ab ibn `Umair to Medina for teaching Qur'an to the inhabitants before the Hijra took place.[2] He and Bilal ibn Rabah were chosen as muezzins in Medina by Muhammad. When Muhammad left Medina for participating in battles, he was given the responsibility of leading the prayers.[3]

Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum requested Umar, the second Caliph of Islam, to let him take part in Jihad in spite of his blindness. Umar allowed him to take part in the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah in 636 C.E. He served in the battle as the standard bearer for the Muslim side, and he was killed in the fighting.

Qur'anic verses

According to traditional Sunni narration, the story behind the revelation of the first ten verses of Abasa is as follows :[4][5] Muhammad was preaching Islam to Walid ibn al-Mughira and other Quraysh chieftains in Mecca. Abd-Allah ibn Umm Maktum came along and asked Muhammad about something. Muhammad did not want to turn his attention away from the chieftains and frowned at ibn Umm Maktum. Allah admonished Muhammad for this action via the first ten verses of Abasa :

After this incident, Muhammad used to greet Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum thus :

However, Shias do not agree that the verses were admonishing Muhammad. They do not accept the authenticity of the Hadith either.

Another verse based on an incident involving ibn Umm-Maktum is the 95th verse of 4:95].

References

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