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Islamic History (28 Jan 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Amr Ibn Al-As, the Invincible Muslim Commander: Take This Sword and Cut off My Nose for the Nose of Jesus Christ's Image

By AbuMubarak


Assalam Alaikum,

Defeated and dislodged from Syria, the Roman warriors took their last bold stand at Alexandria, then the capital of Egypt. They concentrated all their strength here to arrest the progress of the Muslims, but Amr Ibn al-As, the invincible Muslim commander, crushed the united might of the Romans even at this place. The victorious General thereafter took over into his hand the rule of the conquered territory.

General Amr began by granting the fullest liberty to the Christian subjects in all their religious affairs.

One morning intense commotion was witnessed in the Christian quarter of the city. Bands of the excited inhabitants streamed towards Chowk Bazaar and assembled in a large meeting there. One after another, fiery speeches were delivered. Thereafter a number of their leaders with the local Arch-Bishop as their head, arrived at the gate of the house of General Amr Ibn al-As. Amr cordially received the deputation.

The Bishop explained to Amr the cause of the excitement of the Christian inhabitants. There was a marble statue of Jesus Christ in the Bazaar. The Christians used to worship the idol with great reverence. Someone had broken the nose of the image the previous night. The Christians naturally connected the sacrilege with a Muslim.

General Amr gave a patient hearing and came to share the same suspicion (i.e. that a Muslim damaged the idol of Jesus). He turned to the Bishop and said in a voice of agony, "I am deeply ashamed and pained at what had occurred. It is true; Islam disapproves of idol-worship. But it equally disapproves of the profanation of the gods and goddesses of non-Muslim communities. Please have the statue repaired and I shall bear the entire cost" The Bishop replied, "But it is impossible to repair it, for a fresh nose cannot be fitted to it" General Amr replied, “Then build a new statue, and I shall meet the cost" The Bishop replied, "But even that is not acceptable. You know we believe Jesus to be the son of God; so vulgar money cannot compensate for the profanation of his image. There is but one compensation: we shall build a statue of your Prophet (Muhammad) and break its nose" The face of General Amr blazed up in anger. His eyes rolled fiercely, his lips tightened, his body began to quiver and again and again his hand grasped at his sword and again and again he extricated his hand from the weapon.

General Amr left his seat, walked restlessly to and fro for some time, and then washed his face with cold water. He then returned to his seat and said in a quiet sorrowful voice, "You propose to erect a statue of the Great Prophet (Muhammad) who after years of strenuous struggle abolished idol-worship and then you want to break it with insult - and all this before our eyes! It is better that all our wealth, our children and lives perish! Bishop make some other proposal, I am prepared to cut off and deliver the nose of anyone of us for the nose of your image" The Bishop accepted the last offer with gleeful alacrity. The following morning Christians and Muslims swarmed to the open square - the Christians would have their revenge in this open place.

General Amr addressed the gathering and narrated the circumstances of the unfortunate incident in their fullest details. He then called the Bishop to his presence and said, "You are the head of the Christians, and I am the head of the Muslims here.

The responsibility of ruling this country is mine and I must accept the punishment for any insult that may have been offered to your religion or the weakness of my administration. Take this sword and cut off my nose" – saying this, he handed the Bishop his sword.

The Bishop took the sword in his hand and began to examine the sharpness of its edge. The huge concourse stood silent and breathless in the profoundest astonishment.

Suddenly the silence was broken when a Muslim soldier who was running towards the spot and crying, "Stop stop Bishop! Here is the nose of your image and herewith the accused of the day. It is I who broke your idol and this punishment is due to me: the General is entirely innocent" - then the man came before the Bishop and offered his nose.

The Bishop threw away the sword and said, "Blessed is the soldier, blessed is the General and above all, blessed is that noble Prophet (Muhammad) whose ideal has built up men like these. It was no doubt a wrong to break the image, but it will be an immeasurably greater wrong to mangle a human face for that" [Ref: Waqidi, Hirak Har; cited in Khan, Anecdotes from Islam, pp 195-197] Amr ibn al-As was a famous companion of Prophet Muhammad who was put in charge of the Muslims entering Egypt. A Mosque was erected in his name in Fustat, near Cairo in 21 AH. It was an Islamic learning centre long before al-Azhar (the famous Muslim university) which had a capacity of 5000. The Mosque was build alongside the Nile River. Amr was one of the early Muslims who told us that Prophet Muhammad said there were 15 verses in the Quran where we prostrate. He also narrated the Hadith about seeking refuge with Allah the Almighty when we are scared. He also on occasion led the Muslims in prayer. He was also one of the companions who addressed the Muslims at a Friday Khutba (sermon) informing them about the Witr prayers.

Imagine, such a great Muslim would respect the right of non-Muslims to practice their faith freely, even the idols they created. He went through this length to protect the non-Muslims and their properties, even though Islam prohibits idols.

May Allah the Almighty have mercy and guide us to acting like the early Muslims did, with truth, justice, and fairness in all our activities, Ameen. Fi Amanillah, Assalam Alaikum,

.لا نريد زعيما يخاف البيت الإبيض

نريد زعيما يخاف الواحد الأحد

دولة الإسلامية باقية

Source: ummah.com/forum/forum/islam/general-islamic-topics/12169-the-price-of-a-nose

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-history/abumubarak/amr-ibn-al-as,-the-invincible-muslim-commander--take-this-sword-and-cut-off-my-nose-for-the-nose-of-your-image/d/117575


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