First, I am aware that Paul IS a figure Islam, though he definitely doesn't occupy a similar position to Muslims as he does to Christians. This is all besides the point. This question stems from a debate Bart Ehrman had with Justin Bass on YouTube. This question is similar to another question I have on the psychology stack asking the question if there is evidence of people from one religion having visions, dreams, hallucinations, etc. about other religions, excluding Christianity. Justin Bass claims people only have Christian visions, namely that of Jesus and Mary.

This question is different because it is assessing a separate claim made by Bass. He claims that it is unheard of in other religions that someone who once persecuted the religion would later join and champion the religion, such as the Biblical Paul did (he once persecuted Christians, then had a vision, then started spreading Christianity). Bass gives a couple examples of people who once persecuted Christians, then later became a Christian, and he seems to think this does not happen for other religions.

So, my question is, are there any examples in the history of Islam where someone once persecuted or killed Muslims, but then they had a vision of Allah or Muhammad and converted to Islam?

1 Answer 1


Yes there are several such examples.

If you are familiar with the history of Islam you would know that when Muhammad ﷺ started preaching Islam, his people - the tribe of Quraysh - became his enemies. They persecuted the Muslims in Makkah, and later fought battles against them when they had migrated to Medinah. Slowly however they accepted Islam, and eventually all of those who survived accepted Islam by the time of the death of Muhammad ﷺ.

There are many exmaples: Umar ibn al-Khatab, Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, Suhayl ibn Amr, Khalid bin Waleed, Amr ibn al-Aas, Safwan ibn Umayya, Umayr ibn Wahb, Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, Wahshi ibn Harb etc.

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