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Abdur Rahman bin Awf (Arabic: ( ) c. 580 CE c.

653 CE)[citation needed] was one of the companions of the Islamic


prophet Muhammad.

Name[edit]
His original name was Abdul Amr ("servant of Amr"). It was
Muhammad who renamed him Abdur Rahman ("servant of the Most
Merciful").[citation needed] His name has also been transliterated as Abdel
Rahman Ibn Auf.

Conversion to Islam[edit]
Abu Bakr spoke to Abdur Rahman about Islam, then invited him to
meet Muhammad, who heard his declaration of faith and taught him
the Islamic prayers. This was before the Muslims had entered the
house of Al-Arqam; Abdur Rahman was one of the first eight men to
accept Islam.[1]
From about 614 the pagan Quraysh in Mecca "showed their enmity
to all those who followed the apostle; every clan which contained
Muslims was attacked."[2] The usual threat to Muslim merchants
was: "We will boycott your goods and reduce you to beggary." [3]
Abdur Rahman was one of a pioneering party of fifteen Muslims
who emigrated to Abyssinia in 615. Other Muslims joined them later,
forming a group of over a hundred. "They were safely ensconced
there and grateful for the protection of the Negus; could serve God
without fear, and the Negus had shown them every hospitality." [4] In
late 619 or early 620 "they heard that the Meccans had accepted
Islam." This probably refers to the Gharaniq episode. Abdur
Rahman was one of forty who "set out for the homeland. But when
they got near Mecca they learned that the report was false, so that

they entered the town under the protection of a citizen or by


stealth."[5]

Emigration to Medina[edit]
In 622 Abdur Rahman joined the general emigration of Muslims
to Medina, where he lodged with Saad ibn Al-Rabi[6] until he could
re-establish his business.

Military campaigns during Muhammad's era[edit]


[show]

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List of battles of Muhammad


Main article: List of expeditions of Muhammad
The Battle of Badr[edit]

Further information: Battle of Badr


Abdur Rahman was friends with Umayyah ibn Khalaf, a stern
opponent of Islam. When Abdur Rahman emigrated to Medina, the
two reached a written agreement, according to which Abdur
Rahman was to protect Umayyah's property and family in Medina,
while Umayyah would protect Abdur Rahman's in Mecca. When
Abdur Rahman wanted to sign the document, Umayyah protested,

saying "I do not know Ar-Rahman" and requested that the preIslamic name "Abdu Amr" should be used, to which Abdur Rahman
agreed.[7]
The two met again in the Battle of Badr in March 624.
A narration attributed to Abd-al-Rahman ibn Awf reports:
On the day (of the battle) of Badr, when all the people went to
sleep, I went up the hill to protect him. Bilal(1) saw him (i.e. Umaiya)
and went to a gathering of Ansar and said, "(Here is) Umaiya bin
Khalaf! Woe to me if he escapes!" So, a group of Ansar went out
with Bilal to follow us ('Abdur-Rahman and Umaiya). Being afraid
that they would catch us, I left Umaiya's son for them to keep them
busy but the Ansar killed the son and insisted on following us.
Umaiya was a fat man, and when they approached us, I told him to
kneel down, and he knelt, and I laid myself on him to protect him,
but the Ansar killed him by passing their swords underneath me,
and one of them injured my foot with his sword. (The sub narrator
said, " 'Abdur-Rahman used to show us the trace of the wound on
the back of his foot.")
Sunnis tend to view this as Sahih and have included it in Sahih
Bukhari [8]
Invasion of Dumatul-Jandal[edit]

In August 626 Muhammad directed Abdur Rahman ibn Awf to raid


the Kalb tribe in Daumatul-Jandal, instructing him: Take it, Ibn Awf;
fight everyone in the way of God and kill those who disbelieve in
God. Do not be deceitful with the spoil; do not be treacherous, nor
mutilate, nor kill children. This is Gods ordinance and the practice
of His prophet among you. Muhammad also instructed him on the

correct way to wind a turban.[9] Abdur Rahman defeated the Kalbites


and extracted from them their declaration of Islam and the payment
of the jizya. He then sealed the alliance by marrying the chief's
daughter Tamadur bint Al-Asbagh and bringing her back to Medina.
[10]

Role in successions to the Caliphate[edit]


In August 634 the dying Caliph Abu Bakr called in Abdur Rahman
and Uthman to inform them that he had designated Umar ibn alKhattab as successor.[citation needed]
In 644, the dying Umar nominated a board of six members (the
Council of Shura) to elect one of themselves as the next caliph. The
group consisted of Sad Ibn Abi Waqqas, Abd al-Rahman ibn
Awf, Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Talha ibn Ubayd Allah, Ali ibn Abi
Talib and Uthman ibn Affan. Uthman was chosen as the third caliph
by Abdur Rahman bin Awf after he consulted with women. [11]

Personal life[edit]
Family[edit]

His sister was married to Bilal Ibn Rabah.[citation needed]


He married at least fifteen times and had twenty-eight known
children.[12]
1. Umm Kulthum bint Utba of the Abdshams clan of the Quraysh
in Mecca.[13]
1.Salim the Elder (died before Islam).
2. The Daughter of Shayba ibn Rabia ibn Abdshams.
1.Umm Al-Qasim (born before Islam).

3. Habiba bint Jahsh of the Asad tribe (childless).[14]


4. Tamadir bint Al-Asbagh of the Kalb tribe. Although he divorced
her during his final illness, she, like his other three widows,
inherited one-thirty-second of his fortune, which was 80,000
or 100,000 dirhams.[15][16]
1.Abdullah the Younger (Abu Salama).
5. Umm Kulthum bint Uqba from the Umayya clan of the
Quraysh in Mecca.[17]
1.Muhammad, from whom he took his kunya of Abu
Muhammad.
2.Ibrahim.
3.Humayd.
4.Isma'il.
5.Hamida.
6.Amat ar-Rahman the Elder.
6. Sahla bint Asim from the Baliyy tribe of Medina.
1.Maan.
2.Umar.
3.Zayd.
4.Amat ar-Rahman the Younger.

7. Bahriya bint Hani of the Shayban tribe.


1.Urwa the Elder (killed at Ifriqiya).
8. Sahla bint Suhayl of the Amir ibn Luayy clan of the Quraysh. [18]
1.Salim the Younger (killed at Ifriqiya).
9. Umm Hakim bint Qariz.[19]
1.Abu Bakr.
10.

The Daughter of Abu al-His ibn Rafi from the

Abdulashhal ibn Aws tribe of Medina.


1.Abdullah (killed during the conquest of Africa)
11.

Asma bint Salama


1.Abdur Rahman.

12.

Umm Horayth, a war-captive from Bahra


1.Mus'ab.
2.Amina.
3.Maryam.

13.

Majd bint Yazid from the Himyar tribe.


1.Suhyal (Abu'l-Abayd)

14.

Zaynab bint As-Sabbah.


1.Umm Yahya.

15.

Badiya bint Ghaylan from the Thaqaf tribe.


1.Juwayriya.

16.

Ghazzal bint Khosrau (concubine), a war-captive from Al-

Mada'in
1.Uthman
17.

Other Concubines (unnamed).


1.Urwa.
2.Yahya.

3.Bilal.
Generosity[edit]
Many stories are told of Abdur Rahman's personal generosity. He
once furnished Muhammad's army with 1,500 camels.[citation needed] He
bequeathed 400 dinars to the survivors of Badr and a large legacy
to the widows of Muhammad.[citation needed] One day he brought a
caravan of 700 merchant camels into Medina. Aisha remarked, "I
have heard the Allah's Messenger say: 'I have seen Abdur Rahman
ibn Awf entering Paradise leaping.'" This was repeated to Abdur
Rahman, who replied: "If I could, I would certainly like to enter
Paradise standing. I swear to you, yaa Ammah, that this entire
caravan with all its merchandise, I will give in charity." And so he
did.[20]
Physical Features[edit]

Abdur Rahman bin Awf was light in complexion and had lustrous
eyes with long eyelashes. He had a convex nose and a long

elegant neck. He had somewhat protruding upper teeth and heavy


hair under his earlobes. His hands and fingers were thick and
masculine. He had curly hair and overall handsome with a good
complexion. He had a limp due to the wounds inflicted on him on
the day of Uhud.

Death[edit]
Abdur Rahman died in the Levant ( ) in 33 AH (653654 CE)
during the reign of Uthman. He was buried on a hill to the north-east
of present day Amman, Jordan.[21]

Sunni view[edit]
Sunnis regard him as one of the al-asharatu-l mubashshirin, the ten
people whom Muhammad personally assured of entering Paradise.