It was during this period that
Islam was strengthened by the conversion of Umar Radhi Allahu
Anhu. He was one of the nobles of the Quraish, a man of dauntless
courage, feared and respected by all. The Prophet Sallallahu
Alaihi Wasallam wanted him to accept Islam and often prayed
to Allah to guide him.
Initially, he was a bitter opponent
of the new religion. He tortured the early Muslims mercilessly.
He, however, failed to convince a single Muslim to forsake his
faith. In anger and desperation he decided to murder the Prophet
Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. He set out with a sword hanging
from his neck in search of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
Nu'aym Ibn Abdullah happened to see Umar armed and excited.
He asked: " Umar, where are
"I seek Muhammad," was
Umar's reply, "and I will slay him. He has forsaken our
religion, shattered the unity of the Quraish, ridiculed them
and vilified their gods. Today I will settle the affair once
and for all."
"Anger has blinded you,"
replied Nu'aym. "Would it not be better for you to set
your own family in order first?" Umar was taken aback.
He asked: "And who are they in my family?"
Nu'aym replied: "Your brother-in-law
and your sister Fatima. They have brought faith on the Prophet
Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. It would be better to deal with
Umar immediately hurried on to
the house of his sister. Khabbaab Radhi Allahu Anhu, a companion
of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, was at the time teaching
Surah Taaha to the couple from a manuscript he had with him.
When they heard Umar approaching, Khabbaab Radhi Allahu Anhu
hid himself in a small room and Fatima concealed the manuscript
hurriedly. But, as Umar had already heard Khabbaab Radhi Allahu
Anhu reciting the scripture, he demanded to enter the house
and hear what was being recited.
In anger Umar screamed: "I
have heard that both of you have joined Muhammad." Umar
attacked his brother in law. Fatima rushed in to save her husband
but Umar struck her hard and wounded her. Now, both husband
and wife boldly asserted, "Yes, we are Muslims. Do as you
Umar saw the blood flowing from
the wound inflicted on his sister. His anger gave place to shame
coupled with admiration for her courage. Having cooled down
he asked for the manuscript which he had heard Khabbaab reciting.
He said : "Show me the manuscript. I want to know what Muhammad
has brought." Fatima, however, replied: "I fear what
you might do with it."
Umar promised not to destroy it.
She said to him politely : "Brother, you are unclean because
of your polytheism and only the pure can touch it."
Umar rose and took a bath and she
then gave him the pages on which Surah Taaha were written. He
had read only a few lines when he exclaimed in amazement : "How
noble and sublime is this speech!"
Thereupon, Khabbaab Radhi Allahu
Anhu came out of his hiding place and said 'O Umar, by Allah,
I hope that Allah would bless you with His Prophet's call for
I heard him but last night supplicating : "0 Allah, strengthen
Islam by Abul Hakam or Umar Ibn al-Khattaab."
Umar asked Khabbaab Radhi Allahu
Anhu to lead him to the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
On being told by Khabbaab that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi
Wasallam was in a home at Mount Safa with his Sahabah, Umar
immediately took his sword and headed that way. When he knocked
at the door one of the Sahabah got up and saw Umar at the door
with sword in hand. He hurried back to report : "0 Prophet
of Allah, Umar Ibn al-Khattaab is here with his sword."
Hamza Radhi Allahu Anhu intervened
to say: "Let him in. If he comes with peaceful intent,
it is all right. If not, we will kill him with his own sword."
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam gave the word to let
Umar in and the companion opened the door.
As Umar entered the door, the Prophet
Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam went forth to meet him. He said to
Umar: "Why have you come, 0 son of Khattaab?"
But Umar replied submissively,
"0 Prophet of Allah, I have come to attest my faith in
Allah and His Prophet and what he has brought from Allah."
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam
raised the cry of Allahu Akbar so loudly that the Sahabah present
in the house knew that Umar Radhi Allahu Anhu had accepted Islam.
Umar's Radhi Allahu Anhu conversion
was a turning point in Islam. It made the Muslims feel confident
and strengthened. Now they proceeded to the Ka'bah openly and
worshipped without fear of persecution. Hamza Radhi Allahu Anhu
had already accepted Islam. Umar's Radhi Allahu Anhu conversion
would, now, anger the Quraish even more. Unlike the other Muslims,
Umar Radhi Allahu Anhu proclaimed his faith publicly. As soon
as the Quraish came to know about it they drew the sword against
him but found him prepared to defend himself. (3)