Who Was Hazrat Umar Farooq Ibn Al-Khattab and His conversion to Islam journey?
Hazrat Umar Farooq Ibn Al-Khattab belonged to the Adi family of the Quraish tribe. It was the time when The Prophet (Peace be upon him) received the revelation and invited people to Islam. The leaders of Quraish called a meeting planning for the assassination of the Prophet (SAW). Hazrat Umar Farooq offered himself for this job, and everybody favoured that he was the right person to do this job.
Hazrat Umar Farooq was a famous wrestler, debater, and spirited person in his youth. While on his way with a sword in his hand, he met Hazrat Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas, companion of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). On asking, Hazrat Umar Farooq told him he would assassinate Prophet (Peace be upon him). While listening to him, Hazrat Saad replied:
“You had better take care of your own family first. Your sister and brother-in-law both have accepted Islam.”
Hazrat Umar Sister Accepted Islam first.
Hearing this, he went straight to his sister’s house. Hazrat Khabbab Ibn Al-Aratt was teaching Qur’an to them at that time. While hearing the voice of Hazrat Umar on the door, his sister Fatima was frightened. She tried to hide the portion of the Qur’an. When Hazrat Umar entered the house, he inquired about their conversion to Islam on listening. A positive reply: he first beat his brother-in-law severely and then hit his sister violently on her face that it bled profusely. His sister shouted:
“Do whatever you like; we are determined to die as Muslims.”
How did Hazrat Umar Farooq Embrace Islam?
Hazrat Umar loved his sister Fatima very much but couldn’t tolerate her conversion to Islam. Seeing his sister bleeding, he cooled down. And asked her sister to show him the pages of the Holy Qur’an she was reciting. So, She told him:
“You can not touch it unless you take a bath and make yourself clean.”
He then took a bath and read the scripts. And It was the beginning of Surah Ta’Ha (Chapter 20 of the Holy Qur’an). He came to the verse:
إِنَّنِىٓ أَنَا ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۠ فَٱعْبُدْنِى وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ لِذِكْرِىٓ
“Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance. “[20:14]
At this, Hazrat Umar exclaimed:
“Surely this is the Word of Allah. Take me to Prophet (Peace be upon him).”
On hearing this, Hazrat Khabbab Ibn Al-Aratt, who was hidden in the house, came out from inside and said:
“O Umar! Glad tidings for you. It seems that the prayer of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), which he said last night, has been answered in your favour.”
He prayed to Allah:
“O Allah, strengthen Islam with either Umar b. Khattab or Umar b. Hisham, whomsoever Thou pleaseth”.
Hazrat Umar Farooq went to Prophet (Peace be upon him). On seeing him, Prophet (Peace be upon him) asked him:
“Umar! what brings you here”?
He said: “I am here to accept Islam”.
Hearing this, the Muslims shouted with joy:
“Allah-hu Akbar! (Allah is the Greatest).”
The sound echoed through the air of Makkah. Hazrat Umar’s conversion to Islam was a terrible blow to the morale of the disbelieves. Hazrat Abdullah bin Mas’ud, a great Companion, says:
“Hazrat Umar’s conversion to Islam was a great triumph. His emigration to Madina was a tremendous reinforcement and his accession to Caliphate a great blessing for the Muslims.”
This is how Hazrat Umar Farooq, the Great Islamic Leader and Caliph accepted Islam. So, His conversion to Islam strengthened Islam.
Hazrat Umar’s Migration to Madina
The Muslims in Makkah had been persecuted, some tortured to death, by the Quresh tribes and other Makkah tribes. Prophet (Peace be upon him) was determined to stay in Makkah but encouraged other Muslims to flee to Madina.
Finally, the Muslims learned that the Quresh planned to attack Prophet Muhammad in his home. He and his best friend, Hazrat Abu Bakr, slipped out of Makkah at night and started to travel north to Madina.
Though leaving Makkah to escape religious persecution, Prophet (Peace be upon him) was worried about the valuables he had been given to safeguard. His last act before leaving Makkah was to instruct his cousin and son-in-law to return the money and valuables to the Quresh, the same people who were trying to kill him.
When the Muslims were ordered to migrate to Madina, most left Makkah quietly and in secret, but Hazrat Umar Farooq declared it openly.
He put on his armour and first went to the Kabah. After performing the Prayers, he announced loudly:
“I am migrating to Madina. If anyone wants to check me, let him come out. I am sure that his mother would cry for his life.”
There was no man in Makkah to accept the challenge of Hazrat Umar Farooq. Then he migrated to Madina boldly.
His Services to Islam
Sword of 4 Caliphs
Hazrat Umar Farooq participated in almost all the big battles: Badr, Uhud, Ahzab, Khaibar, Hunain etc. In the mission of Tabuk, he gave half of his wealth to the path of Allah. He was next to Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique in the sacrifice of his belongings for the cause of Allah.
Prophet (Peace be upon him) also had a deep love for him. Once, he said:
“Had a prophet come after me, he would have been Umar.” [Bukhari]
In another Hadith, Hazrat Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“In Bani Isra’il (Israelites), there were people who were not prophets but talked to Allah. Were anyone in my Ummah like those persons, he would be Umar.” [Bukhari]
The death of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was a great shock to him, and he could not believe it until Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique reminded him. He then went to the Council Hall along with Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, where the people of Madina assembled to select the First Caliph.
Hazrat Umar Farooq was the first person to pledge loyalty (Bai’at) at the hand of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique and helped him throughout his rule.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“If there were to be a Prophet after me, He would have been Umar.” [Sahi Bukhari]
Umar Farooq, a Second Caliph and Ruler
During Hazrat Abu Bakr’s illness, he consulted the people about the next Caliph. And then gave his decision in favour of Hazrat Umar Farooq, who took charge after the death of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique on 23rd August 634 AC.
Hazrat Umar Farooq followed wholly the ways of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the policy of his predecessor with his characteristic enthusiasm and potency. His strict devotion to the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) helped him to alleviate the mighty empires of Persia and Byzantine.
The period of Hazrat Umar’s Caliphate undoubtedly is the Golden Age of Islam in every respect.
Within ten years of his glorious rule, the whole of the Persian Empire, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and a part of Turkey came under the banner of Islam, and the nations entered the fold of Islam.
He enforced Divine Law (Shari’ah) as the code of a newly formed International Islamic State. He safeguarded internal safety by introducing the police force. He gave income to the poor; He constructed cantonments and forts for the safety of Islamic armies. He founded new cities for the growth of Islamic culture and civilization; He improved the agriculture and economics of the Islamic State; He founded the educational system in an Islamic State; in brief, he was the founder of a great Islamic State.
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