A Critical Exposition of the Popular 'Jihád'/Chapter 10/60

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[Sidenote: 60. The execution of Okba.]

Another prisoner, named Okba, was executed after the battle of Badr for a crime similar to that of Nazr. It is related that while he was going to be executed, he asked who would take care of his little girl. Mohammad replied, "Hell-fire!" This is altogether an apocryphal story, and owes its origin to the relation of Okba to the tribe of Banunnar, or the "children of fire." Wackidi does not give his authorities for the story, and Ibn Is-hak gives only one immediately before him, which is cut short of another intervening link of authorities up to the scene of occurrence. Abu Daood narrates it from Masrook, who gave it on the authority of Abdullah-bin-Mas-ood, who does not say he was present at the scene or he heard it directly or indirectly from Mohammad. Besides the circumstances under which Masrook gave out this story are very suspicious, and show that calumny was at work. Masrook was proposed by Zohak to be entrusted with the administration of a certain district. Ommara, the son of Okba, objected to this, as Masrook was one of the murderers of Osman, the third Khalif. Masrook in reply said to Ommara, on the authority of Ibn Masood, that "when thy father was being executed, he had asked the Prophet, who will take care of his little girl." The Prophet replied, "Hell-fire." Therefore, I am satisfied for thee with what the Prophet had chosen for thy father.[1]

There is a discrepancy in the mode of Okba's execution as well as about the person who executed him. Ibn Is-hak says, that it was Asim who killed him, and Ibn Hisham, that it was Ali. Ibrahim is of opinion, that Okba was executed at Taimee,[2] and Mohammad-bin-Khobeib Hashimi,[3] that he was crucified, from which others differ and say that he was beheaded. I have no belief in Okba's execution at all.


  1. Abu Daood as before.
  2. Zorkánee, Vol. II, p. 541.
  3. Sírat Halabi, Vol. II, p. 371.