Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Asalaamu alaykum readers,
This topic is one that is very close to my heart subhanAllah. Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra), the second khalifa of the Muslims and one of those promised jannah. The first man in this duniya to be called by the title of “Amir ul Mumineen” (leader of the believers). He was an accomplished jurist, theologian and one of the very few of the Quraysh at the time of the Prophet (saw) that could read and write. Physically, he was a very strong man and well-known for his strength among the Arab people.
The Prophet (saw) said “Whoever loves Umar has loved me. Whoever hates Umar hates me.” [At-Tabarani]
The Prophet (saw) made a du’aa to Allah swt and asked Allah swt to strengthen Islam with either Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra) or Amr ibn Hisham also known as Abu Jahl. And through His swt divine wisdom, He swt chose Umar ibn Al Khattab.
Prior to accepting Islam, Umar (ra) was a staunchly against Islam and the Prophet (saw), so much so that he volunteered for a mission to kill the Prophet (saw). He had previously listened to the verses of the Qur’an whilst they were being revealed to the Prophet (saw) whilst hiding behind the Kaa’ba and was certain that the Prophet (saw) was nothing but a poet or a soothsayer, astaghfirAllah.
When he was on the way to kill the Messeger of Allah (saw), a man stopped him and informed him that his own sister and brother in law had accepted Islam. He went to confront them and an altercation occurred until finally his sister calmed him and he read some verses from Surah Ta Ha. Upon hearing the verses he accepted Islam and went straight to the Prophet (saw) to declare it.
The reversion of Umar ibn Al Khattab to Islam was a great blow to the Quraysh due to his high status among the Arabs, but it was indeed the strengthening of Islam, Allahu Akbar!
Those with the worst pasts, have the greatest futures and the story of Umar (ra) just proves that we should not give up on people when conveying the message. But ultimately, it is within the hands of Allah swt to guide the son of Adam (as).
In Tirmidhi, it’s narrated that the Prophet (saw) said “Were there a Prophet to come after me, he would have been Umar.”
Umar (ra) was known for his fearlessness and before his reversion to Islam, the Muslims were still meeting and sharing the message in secrecy. The Prophet (saw) led the first public salah with the help of Umar (ra) declaring his faith infront of the chiefs of the Quraysh, subhanAllah. They dared not go against Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra). For this trait of fearlessness and honesty, the Prophet (saw) gave him the special kunyah (nickname) Al-Farooq (the one who distinguishes between truth and falsehood).
Whilst others secretly migrated to Medina, Umar (ra) pronounced his migration openly and dared anyone to stop him – this was the character of Umar (ra), alhamdulillah!
When he became the Amir ul Mumineen, he used to perform secret night patrols to ensure the safety of the people he served. Can you imagine David Cameron patrolling the streets of Britain… no? Me neither! He introduced concepts like that of child and mother benefits where they would receive a stipend from the treasury to ensure that no woman or child went hungry.
Umar (ra) is often portrayed as a stern abrasive figure but he in fact had a heart as precious as gold and as soft as milk. Both he and his wife Umm Kulthum bint Ali ibn Abi Talib (the daughter of Ali (ra) were hands on in their community. One example of this was when Umar (ra) was on a night patrol and found a woman giving birth in her tent. He went to fetch his wife to deliver the baby whilst he stayed outside the tent to cook a meal for the man and his wife. When the baby was born Umm Kulthum shouted out “Amir ul Mumineen, give your companion glad tidings of his newborn son.” The man was so shocked that he had met the Amir ul Mumineen and inquried as to why Umar (ra) did not reveal his identity sooner. His reply was that he only wanted to be of service to his fellow Muslim brother, subhanAllah.
There are 3 important points we can take away fropm the story of Umar ibn A Khattab (ra):
- A person’s past does not determine their future – Allah swt guides whomever He swt wills
- We should try in every instance to do good and forbid evil
- Wherever we can, we need to ensure we are helping our fellow brothers and sisters in Islam
Very few people can emulate the character of Umar ibn Al Khattab (ra), but that doesn’t mean we shoudn’t try!
Wasalaam – Peace Be Upon You