How did Hazrat Umar convert to Islam? How did Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab accept Islam? Here’s answer…
Having gathered yet again at the House of Nadwah, their advisory council, the idolaters decided to kill the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-. For the task, they chose the brave and hot headed Omar ibn Khattab, thirteen years younger than the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, with whom he shared a common lineage in their ninth great grandfather. Omar had now unwarily set out to murder the Best of Creations -upon him blessings and peace-. On the way he came across Nuaym ibn Abdullah –Allah be well-pleased with him-. Suspicious of Omar’s overall manner, Nuaym asked where he was headed.
“To kill Muhammad…the man who has brought a new religion in place of that of his ancestors!” Omar responded.
To distract Omar and gain some time, the prudent Nuaym cobbled together an excuse.
“I swear, Omar, you are fooling yourself! Do you think the sons of Abd Manaf will let you live if you do? Besides, you should take a look at your own family first!”
“Who are you talking about?” Omar asked angrily.
“Who else but your sister Fatimah and your brother-in-law Sa’id ibn Zayd? They have both become Muslims. Take my word for it!”
Having found out about Omar’s sinister intention, by diverting him to his sister’s house Nuaym –Allah be well-pleased with him- had gained some precious time to notify the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- of the plot.
Speaking with Nuaym had irritated Omar all the more, and without further ado, he redirected his path to his sister’s house, fuming.
Khabbab –Allah be well-pleased with him- was also present at the house at the time, busy teaching Omar’s sister and brother-in-law Quran. The moment they saw the angry Omar approach towards them, they hid Khabbab –Allah be well-pleased with him- in a room, while Fatimah concealed the page of the Quran they were holding in their hands.
Omar stormed inside.
“What was that I heard you read just now?” he roared.
“You must have heard wrong. We have no such thing here”, they said.
“Really? Then why is it I hear that you two have become followers of Muhammad?” Omar yelled, after which he charged at his brother-in-law, beating him up. While trying to intervene, Fatimah got her share of Omar’s fury with a slap in the face, which however incited her to cry out:
“You can do what you like Omar! Even kill us if you wish! But we shall never give up our belief!”
A thin line of blood was trickling down Fatimah’s face -Allah be well-pleased with her-, as she spoke up with the courage of belief.
Not expecting such a reaction, Omar was stunned. The sight of his sister’s bloodstained face had suddenly caused an ache in his heart. He regretted his momentary fit of anger.
“Could you bring me what you were reading?” he asked compassionately, as if to apologize.
“Promise not to do anything to it!” said Fatimah.
“I promise; I will give it back once I read it”, Omar swore in the name of his idols.
HOW DID HAZRAT UMAR CONVERT TO ISLAM?
Thereupon, hoping he might see the light of guidance, Fatimah -Allah be well-pleased with her- said:
“But you are an idol worshipper, so you are not clean! Only those who are clean may touch the pages of the Quran!”
Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- was given the pages only after a complete bodily wash. He then began reading the sacred ayah thereon:
طٰهٰ. مَاۤ اَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْاٰنَ لِتَشْقٰى. اِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِمَنْ يَخْشٰى. تَنْز۪يلًا مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْاَرْضَ وَالسَّمٰوَاتِ الْعُلٰى. اَلرَّحْمٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوٰى. لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمٰوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْاَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرٰى. وَاِنْ تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَاِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَاَخْفٰى. اَللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ لَهُ الْاَسْمَاۤءُ الْحُسْنٰى. وَهَلْ اَتٰيكَ حَد۪يثُ مُوسٰى. اِذْ رَاٰ نَارًا فَقَالَ لِاَهْلِهِ امْكُثُوۤا اِنّ۪يۤ اٰنَسْتُ نَارًا لَعَلّ۪يۤ اٰت۪يكُمْ مِنْهَا بِقَبَسٍ اَوْ اَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى. فَلَمَّاۤ اَتٰيهَا نُودِيَ يَا مُوسٰى. اِنّ۪يۤ اَنَاۨ رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ اِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى. وَاَنَا اخْتَرْتُكَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا يُوحٰى. اِنَّن۪يۤ اَنَاۨ اللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّاۤ اَنَاۨ فَاعْبُدْن۪ي وَاَقِمِ الصَّلٰوةَ لِذِكْر۪ي. اِنَّ السَّاعَةَ اٰتِيَةٌ اَكَادُ اُخْف۪يهَا لِتُجْزٰى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا تَسْعٰى. فَلَا يَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنْهَا مَنْ لَا يُؤْمِنُ بِهَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوٰيهُ فَتَرْدٰى
“Ta Ha. We have not revealed to you the Quran to distress you! But only as an admonition to those who fear. A revelation from Him Who created the earth and the high heavens. The Beneficent One, Who is established on the Throne. To Him belongs what is in the heavens and on earth, and all between them, and all beneath the soil. And if you utter the saying aloud, then surely He knows the secret, and what is yet more hidden. Allah! There is no god but He! To Him belong the most Beautiful Names. Has the story of Musa come to you? When he saw a fire, he said to his family: ‘Stop, for surely I see a fire, haply I may bring to you therefrom a live coal or find guidance.’ When he came to it, a voice uttered: ‘O Musa! Truly I am your Lord, therefore take off your shoes; truly you are in the sacred valley, Tuwa. And I have chosen you, so listen to what is revealed: Truly I am Allah, there is no god but I, therefore serve Me and keep up prayer for My remembrance. Surely the hour is coming—I am about to make it manifest—so that every soul may be rewarded for what it strives. Therefore let not him who believes not in it and follows his low desires, turn you away from it so that you should perish!’” (Ta Ha, 1-16)
Omar froze. All he could do was sigh, “How beautiful, how tremendous…”
He had been captivated by the eloquence of the Quran, by words laden with a meaning and wisdom no man could ever invent. He fell in the grip of some deep thinking.
Meanwhile, Khabbab –Allah be well-pleased with him- had come out from where he was hiding:
“Omar! By Allah, I have a feeling that the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- prayer is about to come true. Yesterday he prayed, ‘Allah…! Strengthen your religion with either Abu’l-Hakam ibn Hisham or Omar ibn Khattab!’ So the time has come, Omar, to fear Allah!”
“Take me to Muhammad!” Omar said to Khabbab –Allah be well-pleased with him-.
They left right away. Each step of Omar was this time filled with the excitement of faith, with the love and satisfaction of having grasped the truth of the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-.
When they arrived, Omar was met with by Hamza -Allah be well-pleased with him-, waiting with a sword in hand, having been informed by Nuaym –Allah be well-pleased with him- of the earlier episode. But little could they have guessed the way it had developed.
The Gracious Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- got up and met Omar at the courtyard, inquiring of the purpose of his visit. Spilling from Omar’s lips were the following words of contentment:
“I have come to become a Muslim, Messenger of Allah!”
In thankfulness of what Allah, glory unto Him, has the power to show, the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- exclaimed:
The Companions followed at the top of their lungs. Another wish of the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- had just been fulfilled. When Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- resumed speaking, the first sentence he uttered was, “I bear witness there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger.”
Omar ibn Khattab –Allah be well-pleased with him- was now granted with the Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- wish. As for Abu’l-Hakem ibn Hisham, better known as Abu Jahl, he was sinking more and more in his swamp of misery.
Following Omar’s –Allah be well-pleased with him- declaration of faith in the presence of the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace-, with his proposal, all the Muslims collectively left the House of Arqam and amid praises of the Lord began walking to the Kaabah. This was a huge blow to the idolaters. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- then granted Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- the title “al-Faruq”, for separating right from wrong.
Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- gives the following account of those times:
“There was not a single Muslim who was not harassed, who did not have to put up a struggle. But nobody was touching me. I thought to myself, ‘I do not wish to be out of harm’s way while the Muslims are made to endure all sorts of cruelty’.
So the night I became a Muslim, I decided to find the greatest enemy of the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- from among the idolaters and tell him I had accepted Islam. Come morning, I went to the door of Abu Jahl. He opened the door:
‘Welcome, Omar. What’s the story?’
‘I have come to tell you that I am now a believer of Allah, His Messenger and all that which he has brought,’ I said. He cursed and shut the door on my face.” (Ibn Hisham, I, 371)
In similar manner, Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- later passed on the good news to one of Quraysh’s most prominent idolaters, his uncle Walid ibn Mughirah, and to two other idolaters who, all lacking the courage to get back at Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- could only shut the door in his face and retreat inside their homes.
Abdullah ibn Masud –Allah be well-pleased with him- says:
“Omar’s acceptance of Islam was a triumph, his migration to Medina was an aid and his becoming caliph was a mercy! Until he became Muslim, we could not openly perform salat by the Kaabah. When he became Muslim, however, he fought the idolaters, and ensured they left us alone. Only then could we perform our salat there.” (Haythami, IX, 62-63)
Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- persevered in Mecca in the way of Islam until the Hegira, putting up with all kinds of hardship together with the rest of the Muslims.
 It has also been narrated that it was the first few verses of al-Hadid that Omar –Allah be well-pleased with him- read. (Bayhaqi, Dalail, II, 217)
 See Ibn Hisham, I, 365-368.
 See Diyarbakri, I, 296.
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