His name is Abu Hafsh, Umar al Faruq Ibn Khattab Ibn Nufail Ibn Abdil Uzza Ibn Adi Ibn Ka’ab Ibn Luay Ibn Ghalib al Qurasy. His pedigree meets the pedigree of the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- on his fourth grandfather, Ka’ab Ibn Luaiy Ibn Ghalib.
He was dubbed as “al Faruq” because he was the first man to show his Islamic state in Mecca, thus Allah the Glorified and Exalted revealed it among the infidelity and wickedness there. Ibn Abbas said, “The first man who bravely exposed Islam in Mecca is Umar Ibn Khattab.”
He was born 13 years after the Elephant Year. He was a tough and brave man, white skinned, tall and stout, sturdy, and strong; sounded his talk was, hurtful his smashing was. At the pre Islamic time of ignorance, he was educated by his father, al Khattab, in a hard way. He was obliged to herd his camels every day. He got used to endure difficult and exhausting days, and got smacked if his work was bad. Those experiences helped to shape him into a harsh man.
Before embracing Islam, Umar was among the harshest man in his hostility to Islam and the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-.
He was among the most notorious man who tortured and annoyed muslims, thus some muslims felt desperate for him embracing Islam due to his harshness and ferociousness , hence it was said that Umar would not embrace Islam until one of the donkey of Al Khattab embraced it.
However, the crown (forelocks) of all human beings under the power and will of Allah the Glorified and Exalted, and Allah the Glorified and Exalted is omnipotent of all things. The messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ever said to Umm Salama, “O Umm Salama, the heart of Adam’s sons is between the fingers of Allah the Glorified and Exalted. Whoever Allah wish will be guided, and whoever He wish will be misled. ” (Narrated by At Tirmidhi), in hadith no. 3522).
Umar Ibn Khattab Embraced Islam
There are several things that caused Umar’s heart to melt thus he finally embraced Islam. Among those things is:
First: Allah’s power, Glorified and Exalted be He
Allah the Glorified and Exalted is The Most Powerful upon all things. Allah the Glorified and Exalted is Able to turn a barren earth becomes green and fertile and Allah the Glorified and Exalted is Able to turn a heart that is as hard as a rock becomes soft and sensitive. Allah the Glorified and Exalted decreed:
“Is the time not come that the hearts of the believers should be humbled to Allah’s remembrance and to the Truth that He has revealed, and that they should not be like those who were vouchsafed the Book and then a long time elapsed so that their hearts were hardened? A great many of them are now evil-doers. Know well that Allah revives the earth after it becomes lifeless. We have clearly shown Our Signs to you, perchance you will use your reason.”(QS. Al-Hadid/The Iron: 16-17)
The Second: The Prayer of The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-
One day the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- invoked Allah the Glorified and Exalted, saying:
“O Allah, glorify Islam with one of the people that you love, Abu Jahl Ibn Hisham or Umar Ibn Khattab.” And the more lovable to Allah from them was Umar Ibn Khattab. (See: Sahih Sunan Ibn Hibban 12/305)
Third: Hearing the recitation of the Qur’an
The Qur’an is Allah’s words, which has a very strong influence to the hearts of His creations, Thus, the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- often recite the Qur’an to the infidels so that they would be guided and they would think about the signs of Allah’s power, Glorified and Exalted be He, and Umar was among the companions who was affected by the influence of the Qur’an.
Al Hafizh Ibn Hajar said, “Among the things that attracted Umar to embrace Islam was the recitation of verses of Qur’an in the house of his sister, Fatima.” (See: Fathul Bari 7/176)
After Umar embraced Islam, the glory and power of Islam increased. Ibn Mas’ud said, ” We have been powerful since `Umar embraced Islam.” He also said, “I see that none of us were able to establish prayer in Allah’s House but after Umar embraced Islam. After that, he fought against the infidels/disbelievers until they let us to pray.” (See: Al-Mu’jamul Kabir, 9:165)
The virtue of Umar Ibn Khattab
One day, Umar came to the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and said, ” O messenger of Allah, indeed, I do not leave any gathering that I used to sit in during my infidelity, but I’ve announced my Islamic state in it. I came to the gatherings of the infidels and I announced that I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger, thus they swarmed over me and we hit each other, until when their number increased, a man came and stopped us. ” He was asked, “Who saved you from their attack?”. Umar replied, “He is al Ash Ibn Wa’il As Sahmi.” (See: Shahih Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, page no. 193)
When muslims were commanded to emigrate, some of them left Mecca furtively, feared of the tricks of the infidels of Quraish. But Umar emigrated to Medina openly with 20 men from the companions of the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him. Among the virtues of Umar:
First: He is among the companion of the messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- who is guaranteed to enter Paradise.
Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “While I was sleeping, I saw myself in Paradise, and suddenly I saw a woman performing ablution beside a palace. I asked, ‘For whom is this palace?’ They replied, ‘It is for Umar.’ Then I remembered Umar’s Gh aira (self-respect) and went away quickly. Umar wept and said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! How dare I think of my Gh aira being offended by you?’” (Narrated by Bukhari, no.3070)
Second: The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- often praise him and pray for him.
The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “Supposed that the prophet after me is Umar Ibn Khattab.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi, no. 3686, see: Ash Shahihah, no. 327)
He also said, “Among the nations (who lived) before you there were Muhaddathun (people who were inspired, though they were not Prophets). And if there is any of such a person amongst my followers, it is Umar.” (Narrated by Al Bukhari, no. 3486)
Third: He was a man that feared by satan
Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqash once said:
Umar bin Al- Kh attab asked permission of Allah’s Messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- to see him while some Quraishi women were sitting with him, talking to him and asking him for more expenses, raising their voices above the voice of Allah’s Messenger-peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- . When Umar asked for the permission to enter, the women quickly put on their veils. Allah’s Messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him -allowed him to enter and Umar came in while Allah’s Messenger – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him – was smiling, Umar said, “O Allah’s Messenger! May Allah always keep you smiling.” The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “These women who have been here, roused my wonder, for as soon as they heard your voice, they quickly put on their veils.” Umar said, “O Allah’s Messenger! You have more right to be feared by them than I.” Then Umar addressed the women saying, “O enemies of yourselves! You fear me more than you fear Allah’s Messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ?” They replied, “Yes, for you are harsher and sterner than Allah’s Messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- Then Allah’s Messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “O Ibn Al- Khattab! By Him in Whose Hands my soul is! Never does Satan find you going on a way, but he takes another way other than yours.” (Narrated by Bukhari, no.3480)
Fourth: He often suited Allah’s will, Glorified and Exalted be He, in several events.
Umar was a man who often see a thing in his dream, and Allah the Glorified and Exalted revealed His verse that justify what he saw in his dream. Umar رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ once said, “I agreed with Allah in three things,” or said, “My Lord agreed with me (accepted my invocation) in three things.” I said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Would that you took the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) as a place of Salat (prayer).” I also said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Good and bad persons visit you! Would that you ordered the Mothers of the believers to cover themselves with veils.” So the Divine Verses of Al-Hijab (i.e., veiling of the women) were revealed. I came to know that the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him – had blamed some of his wives, so, I entered upon them and said, “You should either stop (troubling the Prophet – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him – or else Allah will give His Messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him – better wives than you.” When I came to one of his wives, she said to me, “O `Umar! Does Allah’s Messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- haven’t what he could advise his wives with, that you try to advise them?” Thereupon Allah revealed: “It may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you, — Muslims (who submit to Allah)…” (V.66:5) (Narrated by Al Bukhari no.393)
Fifth: The other virtues of Umar Ibn Khattab
One of the form of piety of a muslim is to combine between fear of Allah and wishful to Him.
Umar Ibn Khattab ever said, “If a caller from heaven calls, ‘O people, indeed, all of you will enter the Paradise but one man.’ indeed I fear that it is me, and if that caller calls, ‘O people, indeed, all of you will enter the Hell but one man.’ indeed I wish that it is me.” (See: Ash-Shabah: 154)
Umar also said, “Every day it is said that so and so has dead, and one day it will be said that Umar has dead.”
Indeed, Umar has spoken the truth, since every living creature is going to die and Umar believed firmly that one day he will be killed and martyred in Allah’s cause, Glorified and Exalted be He, because the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- had given him that glad tiding long before that.
One day, The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- ascended the mountain of Uhud and he was accompanied by Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. The mountain shook beneath them. The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- struck it with his foot and said “O Uhud! Be firm, for on you there is none but a Prophet, a Siddiq and two martyrs.” (Narrated by Bukhari: 3472)
What the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said had indeed came true. Umar was killed by a Zoroastrian slave, named Abu Lu’lu’ah.
Abu Lu’lu’ah was a slave of Mughira Ibn Shu’ba. He has expertise in making weapon, and every day Mughira charged him about 4 dirhams. One day, Abu Lu’lu’ah came to Umar and said, “O Chief of the believers, indeed, my master has burdened me heavy burden, so speak to him.” But Umar said, “Be kind to your master.” Whereas Umar had intended to meet Mughira and speak to him.
Hearing his answer, the slave went furious. He mumbled, “The justice of Umar has been even to all men, but me.” He planned to kill Umar, thus he made a spear and one day at the Fajr (dawn) prayer, Umar commanded his companions, “Tighten your rows,” but before he recited takbeer, suddenly Abu Lu’lu’ah came and thrust his spear until Umar fell. After that Abu Lu’lu’ah also thrusted the companions randomly, injuring 13 companions and six of them were dead. After that Umar was brought to his house and when the sun almost rise, Abdurrahman Ibn Auf led the congregational prayer, reciting two shortest chapters.
They gave him drink of date palm juice, but the juice leaked out from his wound and they gave him milk but the milk also leaked out from his wound, until he died.” (See: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, 2:527)
Umar has spoken the truth, because at that day it was said that “Umar has died.” And the same thing will happen to us one day, it will be said one day, “Our father, our mother, and ourselves, have died.” O Allah, we are Your slaves who often mistaken and always perform wickedness, so please forgive us. And Allah knows best.
Pearls of Wisdom
The virtues and merits of Umar are indeed resembling the sparkling pearls to us. Among those virtues is:
- Bravery and strength will be useful if it is used to defend Islam and muslims -as Umar did- , but it will be a disaster if being used to fulfill one’s lust and oppression.
- A sincere prayer, comes out from a sincere one, will not be prevented and will ascend to the sky and open it’s gates. Thus never give up in praying to Allah the Glorified and Exalted.
- Islam can turn a harsh and hard heart – such as the heart of a savage and hungry wolf- to a soft and tame heart, that will guide it’s owner and show him the way out of a vast jungle.
- The piety of a man will help him to be fond of the Hereafter and worry of his sins, but at the same time, he will also wish for the forgiven and mercy of Allah the Glorified and Exalted.
Reference: Al Furqon Magazine (Gresik, Indonesia), 5th edition, year 10, Dzulhijja, 1431 H/2010
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