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This is the story of how one of the greatest Muslim leaders of all time became a Muslim.  This is the conversion story of ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab (Radiallahu Anhu).

‘Umar ibn Al Khattab was a feared and well respected man from the Banu Adi clan from among the Quraish.  He came from a middle class family from Mecca.  Well known for his determination and fearless nature; he became one of the early opponents of the religion of Islam.

During the days prior to his acceptance to Islam; the religion was being taught in private.  There was fear of persecution from the Quraish.  The Muslims would meet in homes, and would learn the religion from Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam).

There were few men that had carried so much honor and fear in Quraish.  ‘Umar ibn al Khattab was one of them.  That is why, Prophet Muhammad SWS once made a Dua(invocation) to Allah:
“O Allah! Give Islam strength through one of the men you love more: ‘Umar ibn al Khattab or Amr ibn al Hisham(Abu Jahl)”

Umm Abdullah(Radiallahu Anhum)was running one day and had the plan to leave Mecca because of the persecutions.  She ran into, fellow tribesmen, ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab who asked her, “Why are you running around?” She responded, “You have caused us too much pain for worshiping Allah.”  To her shock ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab told her, “have peace on your journey.” Umm Abdullah told her brother that she ran into ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab, and her brother responded “He’s going to kill us.”  Islam began to soften the heart of ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab.

One day ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab went to visit the Haram.  Once there he saw the Prophet praying in front of his eyes. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam)was reciting Surah Haqqah(the Reality).  Soon after listening to it he said “By Allah, this is poetry as the Quraish have said.”  Right when he said this; Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam) recited:
إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ
وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَاعِرٍ قَلِيلًا مَا تُؤْمِنُونَ
“That this is verily the word of an honoured Messenger
It is not the word of a poet, little is that you believe!” (69:40-41)
Surprised by the verses, he said to himself “He must be a soothsayer.” Another accusation made by the Quraish.  As soon as he said that; the next verses were recited:
وَلَا بِقَوْلِ كَاهِنٍ قَلِيلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
“Nor is it the word of a soothsayer , little is that you remember!
This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)” (69: 42-43)
Later on in life, when speaking of this moment, ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab said “This is when Islam entered my heart.”

‘Umar ibn Al Khattab, a man known for determination and his anger, made a sudden decision of killing Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam).  Even though Islam was slowly entering his heart; the hatred he had for the new religion still existed.  So on that day that he just decided that he was going kill the Messenger of Allah.  On his way he ran into Na’im ibn Abdullah (Radiallahu Anhu)who began to talk to him.  When Na’im found out that ‘Umar wanted to kill the Prophet; he told ‘Umar that maybe he should speak with his sister first(inferring that she became Muslim).  When he came near his sister’s house he heard the recitation of the Qur’an.  Upon enteringhe asked his sister and her husband Said ibn Zaid (Radiallahu Anhu) “Have you صدها (left the faith of your forefathers)?”.  He then began to attack his sister and her husband.  Upon seeing blood of her sister; he had began feeling guilty.  He apologized to his sister and her husband, and requested to read the words of the Qur’an.  Upon the request his sister said “you are not clean go wash your self.”  Upon reading the verses of Surah Ta ha; Islam began to enter his heart again.

Now ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab returned on his plan to visit the Prophet.  While he made the stop at his sister’s house; Na’im ibn Abdullah went and warned the Prophet and his companions of ‘Umar’s intentions.  When ‘Umar got to the house-sword in hand. The warrior Hamza ibn AbdulMutallib (Radiallahu Anhu) said, “I will kill him with his own sword.”  The Prophet(Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam) told him, “No, go hide.”  When ‘Umar entered the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam) grabbed ‘Umar by the collar and shook him; then asked him, “O Ibn Al Khattab, Why have you not accepted Islam?” ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab (Radiallahu Anhu)responded:
أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله
“I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

The Muslims that were hiding began yelling “الله أكبر”(God is the Greatest).  This became so loud that it could be heard through out Mecca.  Till this day, when a person accepts Islam, upon him finishing his deceleration the people say “الله أكبر”
After years of secretly spreading Islam, from that moment on, Islam began being preached in the open.  Outside for everyone to accept.

Immediately after becoming Muslim; ‘Umar asked Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam), “Who is the hardest on the Muslims?”  The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wassalam) told him it was Abu Jahl ibn Hisham.  So ‘Umar immediately went to the house of Abu Jahl and knocked on his door.  Abu Jahl greeted his nephew, but then ‘Umar said to him “I am a Muslim now.”  Upon hearing that Abu Jahl slammed the door on his face.

The young Abdullah Ibn Umar (Radiallahu Anhu), the son of ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab, who secretly was already Muslim at a very young age could not be happier.  When he found out he began running through the streets yelling “‘Umar has left the religion of your forefathers.”

Within one hour of becoming Muslim; ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab began fighting with the Quraish.  Many of the Polytheist came out and began fighting with ‘Umar.  When ‘Umar began to fatigue, he would grab an honored son of Quraish and threatened everybody that he would poke his eyes out if they didn’t back off.  He continued to do this until he was completely tired.

This is what made ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab (Radiallahu Anhu) special.  He was a man of action.  He not only believed, but he did something.  We can all take a lesson from his life.  We sit around and we have been Muslim for days, weeks, months, years, and most of us our whole lives.  This man was Muslim for just an hour, and began fighting for his faith.  How can we be too lazy to do anything; when we had an example like ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab.

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