Umar's Acceptance of Islam

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Umar ibn Al-Khattab accepted islam three days after Hamzah ibn Abdul-Muttalib in the month of Dhul-Hijjah during the sixth year of Prophethood.[1][2]

Leading up to his acceptance of Islam Umar was torn between ideas of high regard for the traditions and values of Makkan society while admiring the stamina and dedication of faith of the few who rejected those values.[3]. His passion for his community and how he aggressively expressed it lead to the image of a harsh individual who was quick to deal accordingly with those of his tribe who accepted Islam. His rage however was not because he was directly opposed to the teachings of Islam itself, but because of a deep concern of the impact on society because of this new understanding of Allah and how it divided the community.

A Donkey Before Umar

It was inconceivable for many to imagine Umar accepting Islam and Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) without knowing that Umar was in fact very saddened and his heart ached for what he was witnessing and experiencing in his community. Umar would consider how much suffering the followers of this new religion were putting up with, but despite it they were standing firm. What was the secret behind the extraordinary strength.[4][5]

Umm Abdullah bint Hantamah said, "When we were about to leave with intention of migration to Abyssinia, Umar came towards us until he stood right above me. Prior to that time, we would be the recipient of his harsh and ruthless treatment. As he stood over me, he said, 'this mean you are leaving, O umm Abdullah?’ I said, 'Yes, By Allaah, because you have harmed and subjugated us, we are going out in the lands of Allaah until Allaah will make a way for us.’ Umar said, 'May Allaah accompany you [in your journey].’ I saw a gentle side of him that I had never seen before. When Aamir ibn Rabee'ah came, and he had been gone taking care of some personal business. I informed him about what had happened. He then said, “it is as you are hoping that Umar will embrace Islam?’ I said, 'yes.’ Aamir then said, ’Not until the donkey of Al-Khattab embraces Islaam will Umar do the same!’ [6][7]


Dua of the Prophet (ﷺ)

The Prophet (ﷺ) recognized two men, Umar ibn Al-Khattab and Amr ibn Hishaam, even though they were the greatest enemies to Allah and His Messenger at the time. The Prophet (ﷺ) knew their strength and solid conviction would bring great support to the fledgling Muslim community so he turned to Allah and asked to guide them. Umar was the most dear to Allah and accepted Islam shortly after.

"O Allah! Honor Islam through the most dear of these two men to you: Through Abu Jahl or through 'Umar bin Al-Khattab."

"Umar , obviously, was the one who merited the privilege."[8]

Narrations Hasan (Good)

Chapters on Virtues

كتاب المناقب عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "O Allah! Honor Islam through the most dear of these two men to you: Through Abu Jahl or through 'Umar bin Al-Khattab." He said: "And the most dear of them to Him was 'Umar." [9][10][11]

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رَافِعٍ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَامِرٍ الْعَقَدِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا خَارِجَةُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الأَنْصَارِيُّ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلاَمَ بِأَحَبِّ هَذَيْنِ الرَّجُلَيْنِ إِلَيْكَ بِأَبِي جَهْلٍ أَوْ بِعُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَكَانَ أَحَبَّهُمَا إِلَيْهِ عُمَرُ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ غَرِيبٌ مِنْ حَدِيثِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ




Umm Abdullah bint Hantamah said, "When we were about to leave with intention of migration to Abyssinia, Umar came towards us until he stood right above me. Prior to that time, we would be the recipient of his harsh and ruthless treatment. As he stood over me, he said, 'this mean you are leaving, O umm Abdullah?’ I said, 'Yes, By Allaah, because you have harmed and subjugated us, we are going out in the lands of Allaah until Allaah will make a way for us.’ Umar said, 'May Allaah accompany you [in your journey].’ I saw a gentle side of him that I had never seen before. When Aamir ibn Rabee'ah came, and he had been gone taking care of some personal business. I informed him about what had happened. He then said, “it is as you are hoping that Umar will embrace Islam?’ I said, 'yes.’ Aamir then said, ’Not until the donkey of Al-Khattab embraces Islaam will Umar do the same!’ [12][13]




Narrations Da'if (Weak)

Chapters on Virtues

كتاب المناقب عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: "O Allah honor Islam through Abu Jahl bin Hisham or through 'Umar bin Al-Khattab." He said: "So it happened that 'Umar came the next day to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and accepted Islam."

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو كُرَيْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا يُونُسُ بْنُ بُكَيْرٍ، عَنِ النَّضْرِ أَبِي عُمَرَ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلاَمَ بِأَبِي جَهْلِ بْنِ هِشَامٍ أَوْ بِعُمَرَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَصْبَحَ فَغَدَا عُمَرُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَسْلَمَ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ تَكَلَّمَ بَعْضُهُمْ فِي النَّضْرِ أَبِي عُمَرَ وَهُوَ يَرْوِي مَنَاكِيرَ مِنْ قِبَلِ حِفْظِهِ


[14]

Notes

  1. Tarikh 'Umar bin Al-Khattab by Ibn Al-Jawzi, pg.11
  2. Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum - The Sealed Nectar by Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri pg.128
  3. Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum - The Sealed Nectar by Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri pg.128
  4. Al-Farooq Umar pg.9
  5. Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi Vol.1, pg.50
  6. Seerah ibn Hishaam 1/216; Fadaa'il As-Sahaabah, by Imaam Ahmad 1/341. The chain of this narration is Hassan.
  7. Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi Vol.1, pg.49-50
  8. At-Tirmidhi, the chapters of Virtues: the Virtue of Abu Hafs 'Umar bin Al-Khattab, 2/209
  9. Hasan (Darussalam) Jami` at-Tirmidhi Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3681 - Arabic reference: Book 49, Hadith 4045
  10. Tirmidhi, 3682, al-Manaqib, classed as hasan by Sheikh Al-Albani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi, hadith no.2907
  11. Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi Vol.1, pg.50
  12. Seerah ibn Hishaam 1/216; Fadaa'il As-Sahaabah, by Imaam Ahmad 1/341. The chain of this narration is Hassan.
  13. Umar ibn Al-Khattab His Life & Times by Dr. Ali Muhammad as-Sallabi Vol.1, pg.49-50
  14. Da'if (Darussalam) Jami` at-Tirmidhi Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3683 - Arabic reference: Book 49, Hadith 4047