Home > Articles > Islam and forgiveness: Islamic example of Hind bint Autbah Author Dr. Ilham M. Shahine

Islam and forgiveness: Islamic example of Hind bint Autbah Author Dr. Ilham M. Shahine

Islam and forgiveness: Islamic example of Hind bint ‘Autbah

Author Dr. Ilham M. Shahine, Professor of Aqeedah and Islamic philosophy, Alazhar University, Egypt


هند بنت عتبة

Hind bint ‘Autbah

     We know that Islam erases any bad deed that was done before it.  Repentance also erases all sins and bad deeds, especially if it is continual repentance with the intention not to go back to the old actions.   When Allah (SWT) accepts our repentance, he is teaching us how to forgive those that have done us wrong and have oppressed us.  Allah commands us to forgive others who have done us wrong or oppressed us in the past.  He (SWT) also commands us not to remind them by making reference to any bad deed that had taken place in the past.

     The story of Hind bint ‘Autbah is full of examples related to the nature of forgiveness and to the grace of Islam. Hind bint ‘Autbah was a great enemy to Allah and his messenger and had a long history of fighting against Islam and insulting the prophet.  She was named Hind bint ‘Autbah ibn Rabbia.   هِنْدِ بِنْتِ .عُتْبَةَ بنِ ربيعَةَ بن عَبْد شَمْسAbdulShams

While she was married to Abi Suffian she had a long history of animosity towards the Prophet (SAW).  She plotted the killing of Hamza, the Prophet’s uncle and then she tortured his body to the extent that she chewed his liver out of envy and hatred to the Prophets family.


      The story of Hind gives a great deal of hope that we may be able to honestly and truthfully be forgiven of all our sins, even if they were worth more than then earth and heavens.  Because when we return back to Allah, a caller will call back to heaven and earth that a servant has made peace and returned to Allah, so that Allah will accept him/her and forgive him/her of their sin.

     Hind entered Islam on the great day of Mecca’s conquer, after twenty years of great animosity and plotting against Islam and the Prophet.  She entered Islam after her husband Abi Suffian أبي سُفْيانentered Islam.

     When the Prophet entered Mecca on the day of its conquering, Abi Suffian called the Prophet (SAW) “the great, wise, and kind taker, and the ever-merciful.”  She entered Islam and gave the Prophet (SAW) bayya (her word and support).  She was mindful but was last to enter Islam, waiting until her husband entered Islam. This explains and shows us the connection between husband and wife and the influence of one person toward another.  If you live in an environment with hatred and animosity then you will develop the same feelings as those around you.  This is exactly what happened to Hind, with her parents, husband, community, and the whole environment.

     This is why Allah has ordered us in surah Al Tauba, verse 119, “O believers!  Have fear of Allah and be with those who are truthful in word and deed”. سورة التوبة رقم الآية: 119

     This also make us pay attention on how to choose our partner in life, husband, wife, or friends.  The science of psychology states that 60% of the influence on any person is by his/her friends, while the rest is influenced by his family.  This shows why it is so important to choose of friends.

     The example of Hind bint ‘Autbah, who was a good woman and with a good mind, but carried a lot of animosity toward the Prophet due to her surrounding environment and the influence of the people.  The animosity of this environment transferred to her.

      She is the mother of Muawia ibn Abi Suffian, the first Amamwi Khaliah.  She had a long history of fighting Islam and she fought against the Muslims in the battle of Uhud and she plotted with the Abyssinian slave to kill Hamza (RA) and she tortured his body ad chewed his liver. She continued working against Islam till the day when her husband entered Islam, upon Mecca’s conquer.

     Abdullah ibn Saber mentioned that on the day of Meccan’s conquer, when Hint bint ‘Autbah entered Islam with so many women, the women came to the Prophet (saw), gave bayya (endorsed the Prophet), and promised to support him in every condition and in all situations. When she entered Islam she told the Prophet, “I praise Allah who made his religion victorious, and made me a Muslim”.  He made the religion which I now choose for myself and be able benefit from your mercy, oh Muhammad, and that I am a believer in his Messenger.  When the Prophet (SAW) asked her who was talking, she said I am Hind bint ‘Autbah. In such case, although she was the one who planned for the killing of Hamza, the Prophet’s uncle and she tortured his body, the Prophet was so happy for her to become a Muslim. He told her welcome to Islam and he never had any ill feelings against anyone. He gives the best example of the clear slate of a new believer and he is the leader of this deen.

     She was pleased with the prophet welcoming her to Islam and told him in the past that I would have loved nothing more of your people to be tortured, oppressed and defeated, but now I would love nothing more than for your people to be the best, the most glorious,  and victorious.  Then she declared herself independent of those things that she had done in the past.  She was of the four women whom the Prophet demanded their killing upon capture, but after her acceptance of Islam he was happy to forgive her past.

    When Hind entered Islam, she used to have an idol in her house.  The first thing she did when she entered Islam was that she went and broke it down. Al Tabari narrated that after the Prophet finished from the men giving bayya then the women came to give bayya as well.  A lot of Quarish women, including Hind bint ‘Autbah,  when they came to the Prophet (SAW), he said, “you are endorsing me that you will never associate anything with Allah and don’t be extravagant when spending money, and then Hint said, “ will do,. by Allah you are asking us things you did not ask the men, and you will get what you are asking for, by Allah I use to use Abi Suffian’s money and I never knew if it was lawful or not.   Abi Suffian said whatever you did in the past is forgiven, and he asked the prophet to forgive her past and he did.  He asked, you are Hind bint ‘Autbah? She said yes I am Hind bint ‘Autbah.   She asked the prophet please forgive my past and I will ask Allah to forgive you.  The Prophet (SAW) continues saying to the women to stay away from adultery. She asked does the free woman commit adultery? Then he said don’t kill your children, and she said we raised them young and you killed them when they were older in the day of Badr.  Umar laughed at this and continued to laugh.  The Prophet continued saying not to lie and don’t oppress others.  At this Hint replies that lying and oppressing is bad manners. Further the Prophet said don’t disobey Allah in anything.  She replied,we would never sit here with the intention if wanting to disobey Allah and that obeying the Prophet in a good thing is precise because there is no human being on the earth that needs to be followed like the Prophet (SAW).  And still we obey him only in the good because we cannot obey anyone who calls us to disobey Allah.  Allah says in surah Al Mumtahanah, verse 12,   “O Prophet!  When the believing women come to you to take the oath of allegiance, take their pledge: that they will not commit shirk with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit fornication, that they will not kill their children that they will not give any cause for scandal which they may invent between their hands or legs, and that they will not disobey you in any just matter, then accept their allegiance and pray to Allah for their forgiveness.  Surely Allah is Oft-Forgiving, most Merciful.” الممتحنة12

     Hind bint ‘Autbah said to the Prophet that we did not come here and want to disobey you in any good things that you invited us to do. Then the prophet told Umar ibn Khattab عمر بن الخطَّابto accept their bayya and then he(SAW)made istighfar and this is how the women endorsed the Prophet without any shaking hands.

     The story of Hind bint ‘Autbah shows us the greatness of this religion. As we see from the very severe case of hatred, envy, and animosity, even a crime was committed against the Prophets uncle.  This changed after her conversion to Islam to being one of loyalty, love, caring, and glory which all represent Islam. Conversion to Islam erases and demolishes anything that happened before it. The Muslim when he/she enters Islam he/she starts with a new slate with Allah, no matter how big his/her sins, Allah will forgive him.  Allah says in surah Al Zumar verse 53, “Say: “O My servants who have transgressed against their souls, do not despair of Allah’s mercy, for Allah forgives all sins.  It is He Who is the Forgiving, the Merciful”. سورة الزمر الآية: 53

     Now we should know if one of us has committed a great sin that can be a barrier between him and Allah and he is scared he may not be able to be forgiven, we should remember the example of Hind bint ‘Autbah, who killed the Prophet’s uncle and tortured his body and was forgiven.  She was known to be the largest enemy and the most envious of the prophet, but when she entered Islam, the Prophet (SAW), accepted her bayya and forgave her of all she did against him and Islam in the past.

       As a Muslim community, we must follow the way of Allah and follow the way of the Prophet of Allah.   We must also forgive those who have done us wrong and invite them back to Islam. The Prophet (SAW) greatly welcomed Hind bint ‘Autbah and he was very pleased with her entering Islam and he forgave her because the religion of Islam does not encourage animosity, but encourages forgiveness, mercy, and good disciple; even to be good to those that have done you wrong.

     This is Islam.  Where a person can move from the greatest statues of animosity to the best level of love. Which can be explained that we don’t hate the person but we don’t like his/her actions.  Allah does not get angry at the people themselves but gets angry of their actions. When our action are good then everything is ok. And that is the best of Islam.

     From all of this we learned that animosity in Islam is not supposed to be rooted against the person because we don’t like his actions.  We don’t hate the person himself. Allah does not like the action of the sinner but he never dislikes the person himself.  The evidence of this is that as soon as the servant of Allah repents and returns to Allah, then Allah accepts him and his repentance and will start new and this can be seen on the verse surah  Al Ash- Shura verse 25,  “It is He Who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons their sins, and He knows whatever you do.”  

25 الشورى


Allah ordered us to follow the Prophet (SAW) in his treatment of others in surah Al Ahzab, verse 21,   “You have indeed, in the life of Allah’s Rasool, the ‘Best Model’ for him whose hope is in Allah and the Day of the Hereafter, and who engages himself much in the remembrance of Allah”.  



Allah also reminded us to start with forgiveness and peace to those who did us wrong if we really seek the forgiveness of Allah for our sins.  Surah Noor verse 22 states, “Let not those among you who are endowed with grace and amplitude of means swear to withhold their help from their relatives, the indigent and those who migrated for the cause of Allah- rather let them forgive and overlook- do you not wish that Allah should forgive you?” النور22





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