During the heat of Uhud, when the scales of the battle tipped in the favour of the disbelievers after the archers disobeyed the Messenger of Allah’s order, there was a man who had a specific goal, different from that of either the believers or disbelievers. He was not concerned about and not very interested in which side would win the battle. The only matter which he was concerned about and interested in was to attain his freedom.
He was not looking for anyone but Hamzah…he did not want to take revenge from anyone…he was just aiming to free himself from the humility of slavery which Quraish had forced on him and to free himself from the chains of slavery, which he was promised if he killed Hamzah (may Allah be pleased with them). That man was called Wahshy ibn Harb (may Allah be pleased with him).
He later embraced Islam and increased in faith. Wahshy was waiting for his role to play in the battle, to kill Hamzah and then tell the news to his master Jubair ibn Mut’im.
We will let Wahshy tell us the details of this event himself. He said, “I used to be a slave of Jubair ibn Mut’im, whose uncle was Tu’aimah ibn Adi who was killed in the battle of Badr. When Quraish left for Uhud, Jubair told me, ‘If you kill Hamzah, the Messenger of Allah’s uncle on his father’s side, in revenge for my uncle, you will be free.’ I left with the people towards Uhud. I was from Abyssinia, and knew how to throw spears well like other Abyssinians, rarely missing any target. When the two parties fought, I set out to look for Hamzah and lie in wait for him, and eventually saw him among the people. He was hitting the people with strong blows, and no one was able to stop him. By Allah, I was preparing myself to seize the right opportunity to spear him. I hid from him behind a tree or rock, hoping he would come close to me…” He continued, “I prepared my spear to use it, and then I speared him with it. It went down into his intestines and issued out between his legs. I left him there until he died. Then I went to him, pulled out my spear, and returned to the encampment. I stayed there and did not leave it; he was the only one I wanted to kill, in order to be free. When I returned to Mecca, I gained my freedom” [Authentic Collection of Reports by Ibn Habban, the chapter on Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib].
Hamzah left this world, and Washy went to his master with the most expensive ransom a slave can pay for his freedom…pure, righteous blood, the blood of Hamzah, the lion of Allah (may Allah be pleased with him). The Muslims did not recognize the pure body of Hamzah, as the disbelievers had mutilated his corpse. They cut off his nose, opened his stomach, and deformed his pure body.
Ibn Is-haq said, “Hind bint Utbah and the other women with her mutilated the dead bodies of the Comapanions of the Messenger of Allah, cutting their ears and noses. Hind even made necklaces and anklets from the ears and noses of these men. She gave her bracelets, anklets and earrings to Washy. She also pulled out Hamzah’s liver from his body and chewed it, but she was not able to withstand the taste, so she spit it out” [The Prophet’s Biography by Ibn Hesham, Arrowd Al-Anif].
By the time the battle had finished, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) checked on the Muslim martyrs. When the Messenger of Allah saw what happened with his brother through breastfeeding and his cousin on his father’s side, Hamzah, his grief intensified. Ibn Masoud said, “We never saw the Messenger of Allah cry as much as he cried over Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib. He (peace be upon him) placed him in the position of the prayer direction, then stood over him at his funeral and sobbed until his voice groaned with the tears” [A Summary of the Prophet’s Biography by Sheikh Abdullah An-Najdy].