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Islamic researcher, graduated from Al-Azhar University, Islamic Studies in the English language. I also studied at Temple University in the US.
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In a Nutshell:
Hamzah (ra) heard about Abu Jahl insulting the Messenger (saw) on his return from a hunting trip. He went to the marketplace where Abu Jahl was sitting and angrily struck him, proclaiming he too was a Muslim out of loyalty (asabiyah) to his family member. He later went to the Messenger (saw) and asked him to present Islam to him again so he could decide whether to retain his hasty decision. The Messenger (saw) presented Islam to him and he accepted it. He appeared to have already heard of it, probably at the Messenger's (saw) banquet, but hadn't embraced the message, as part of the collective rejection of his clan.


Background

When the Messenger (saw) first received revelation, he focused on calling his nation, the people of Quraysh, to accept Islam and reorient their way of life. Allah commanded him to focus on the tribal leaders and influentials, those whom society implicitly trusted, following them even if they changed their collective way of life.

One of the first steps the Messenger (saw) undertook was inviting his clan to Islam. He invited its leading figures to three banquets asking them for protection and support to spread his deen. Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib (ra) was not only the Messenger's uncle, but one of the elites and leaders of Quraysh. The Messenger (saw) invited him as part of the collective group to Islam at the banquet, but he didn't as part of the collective rejection of his clan.

Hamzah's Conversion

Hamzah (ra) later heard Abu Jahl had insulted his nephew (Muhammad) and he became very angry. He was not yet a Muslim, but he went to Abu Jahl and struck him with his bow for insulting a member of his clan. Those present, shocked by events, concluded he had embraced Islam, which Hamza (ra) quickly confirmed it without any thought.

He then returned to his home thinking about the serious decision he had publicly announced. The next morning, he went to the Messenger (saw) to finalise the decision - asking him to present Islam to him again so he could decide whether to retain his hasty decision or reject it.

The Messenger presented Islam to him again. Allah filled his heart with belief in the Messenger (saw) and he accepted Islam and promised his personal support.

Ibn Ishaq narrated the response of the Meccans after Hamzah (ra) struck Abu Jahl:

وَقَالُوا مَا نَرَاكَ يَا حَمْزَةُ إِلَّا قَدْ صَبَأْتَ قَالَ حَمْزَةُ: وَمَنْ يَمْنَعُنِي وَقَدِ اسْتَبَانَ لِي مِنْهُ مَا أَشْهَدُ أَنَّهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ... ثُمَّ رَجَعَ حَمْزَةُ إِلَى بَيْتِهِ فَأَتَاهُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَقَالَ: أَنْتَ سَيِّدُ قُرَيْشٍ اتَّبَعْتَ هَذَا الصَّابِئَ وَتَرَكْتَ دِينَ آبَائِكَ لَلْمَوْتُ خَيْرٌ لَكَ مِمَّا صَنَعْتَ ... فَبَاتَ بِلَيْلَةٍ لَمْ يَبِتْ بِمِثْلِهَا مِنْ وَسْوَسَةِ الشَّيْطَانِ.
حَتَّى أَصْبَحَ فَغَدَا عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ.
فَقَالَ: يَا ابْن أخى إنى قد وَقعت فِي أَمر وَلَا أَعْرِفُ الْمَخْرَجَ مِنْهُ، وَإِقَامَةُ مِثْلِي عَلَى مَا لَا أدرى مَا هُوَ أرشد أم هُوَ غَيٌّ شَدِيدٌ فَحَدِّثْنِي حَدِيثًا، فَقَدِ اشْتَهَيْتُ يَا ابْن أَخِي أَنْ تُحَدِّثَنِي. فَأَقْبَلَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَذَكَرَهُ وَوَعَظَهُ، وَخَوَّفَهُ وَبَشَّرَهُ.
فَأَلْقَى اللَّهُ فِي قَلْبِهِ الْإِيمَانَ بِمَا قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ. فَقَالَ: أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ الصَّادِقُ شَهَادَةَ الصِّدْقِ، فَأَظْهِرْ يَا ابْن أخى دينك، فو الله مَا أُحِبُّ أَنَّ لِي مَا أَظَلَّتْهُ السَّمَاءُ وَأَنِّي عَلَى دِينِيَ الْأَوَّلِ.
"They said: By Allah, we see nothing but you have apostatised.
Hamzah said: What prevents me from doing so and I have clearly seen from him what makes me testify he is the Messenger of Allah …
Hamzah then went back to his home and Satan came to him and said: You are the leader of Quraysh, how can you follow this apostate (the Messenger) and forsake the religion of your forefathers. Death is better for you than what you did … He experienced an uncomfortable night contemplating.
In the Morning, he went to the Messenger (saw) and said: O my nephew, I have fallen in this matter and I don't know how to get out of it. People like me can't remain with something if they don't know whether it is good or not. So, tell me about your discourse O my nephew.
The Messenger (saw) started reminding, calling, warning and giving glad tidings to him.
Allah enlightened his heart with belief through what the Messenger (saw) said and Hamzah (ra) said: I truly testify you are truthful. So, proclaim your deen, O my nephew, by Allah, I don't like to possess all that is under the sky whilst keeping my previous deen." (Ibn Kathir, al-Seerah al-Nabawiyah, Vol. 1, p. 445-446, Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 2, p. 236, Salihi, Subul al-Huda, Vol. 2, p. 333, al-Mustadrak 4878)


Conclusion

Hamzah (ra) heard of Abu Jahl insulting the Messenger (saw) so went to the marketplace where he sat and struck him. He openly proclaimed to being a Muslim tribal loyalty (asabiyyah). He later went to the Messenger (saw) and asked him to re-explain his call so he could decide whether to retain his hasty decision or not. The Messenger (saw) presented Islam to him again and he accepted Islam.

References

Ibn Kathir, al-Seerah al-Nabawiyah
Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah
Ibn Saad, Tabaqat
Salihi, Subul al-Huda wa al-Rashad


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