Story of Hazrat Umar Embraces Islam
On his way he met Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas of the Zuhrah clan. Sa’d asked: “Where to, ‘Umar?” ‘Umar said, “I am after finishing Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).” Sa’d said, “But do you not see that Banu Hashim, Banu Zuhrah and Banu Abd Manaf are likely to kill you in retaliation?” ‘Umar, upset at the warning, said, “It seems that you also have renounced the religion of your forefathers. Let me settle with you first.”
So saying, ‘Umar drew out his sword. Sa’d announcing his conversion to Islam, also took out his sword. They were about to start a duel when Sa’d said: “You had better first set your own house in order. Your sister and brother in-law both have accepted Islam.” Hearing this, ‘Umar flew into a great rage and turned his steps towards his sister’s house. The door of the house was bolted from inside and both husband and wife were receiving lessons in the Quran from Khabbab (radiyallahu anhu). Umar knocked and had his sister open the door. Khabbab (radiyallahu anhu) hearing the voice of Umar hid himself in some inner room, forgetting to take the handwritten pages of the Quran with him. When his sister opened the door, Umar hit her on the head, saying: ” O enemy of yourself, you too have given up your religion.”
Her head began to bleed. He then went inside and asked, “What were you doing? And who was the stranger I heard from outside?” His brother in-law replied, “We were talking to each other.” Umar said to him, “Have you also given up the faith of your forefathers and gone over to the new religion?” The brother in-law replied, “But what if the new religion be the better and the true one?” Umar was full of anger and fell on him, pulling his beard and beating him most savagely. When his sister intervened, he hit her so violently on her head that it started bleeding. She was, after all, Umar’s sister, she burst out: “Umar! we are beaten only because we have become Muslims. Listen! We are determined to die as Muslims. You are free to do whatever you like.”
When Umar had cool down and felt a bit ashamed over his sister’s bleeding, his eyes fell on the pages of the Quran left behind by Khabbab (radiyallahu anhu). He said, “All right show me, what are these?” “No said the sister, “you are unclean and unclean person can touch it.” He insisted, but his sister was not prepared to allow him to touch the pages unless he washed his body. Umar at last gave in. He washed his body and then began to read the pages. It was surah ta ha. He started fro the beginning of the surah, and he was a changed man altogether when he came to the following ayah:
He said: “All right, take me to Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).” On hearing this Khabbab (radiyallah anhu) came out from inside and said, ” O Umar! Glad news for you. Yesterday (on Thursday night) Rasulullah (sallallhau alaihi wasallam) made a du’a to Allah ta’ala, “O Allah strengthen Islam with either ‘Umar or Abu Jahl, whomsoever you like. It seems that his du’a has been answered in your favour.”
Umar then went to Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and embraced Islam on Friday morning. Umar’s accepting Islam was a terrible blow to the morale of the nonbelievers, but still the Muslims were few in number and the whole country was against them. The nonbelievers intensified their efforts to completely eliminate the Muslims and Islam. With Umar on their side, the Muslims now started saying their salah in the masjid of the ka’bah. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud says: “Umar’s Islam was a big victory, his migration to Madinah a tremendous help, and his accession to the caliphate a great blessing for the Muslims.