Page 46 - Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum

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In a gloomy atmosphere infested with
dark clouds of iniquity and tyranny, there shone on the horizon a promising light for the oppressed,
i.e. the conversion of Hamzah bin 'Abdul-Muttalib in Dhul Hijjah, the sixth year of Prophethood. It is
recorded that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was one day seated on the hillock of Safa when Abu
Jahl happened to pass by and accused the religion preached by him. Muhammad (Peace be upon
him), however, kept silent and did not utter a single word. Abu Jahl went on unchecked, took a
stone and cracked the Prophet's head which began to bleed. The aggressor then went to join the
Quraishites in their assembly place. It so happened that shortly after that, Hamzah, while returning
from a hunting expedition, passed by the same way, his bow hanging by his shoulder. A slave-girl
belonging to 'Abdullah bin Jada'an, who had noted the impertinence of Abu Jahl, told him the whole
story of the attack on the Prophet (Peace be upon him) . On hearing that, Hamzah was deeply
offended and hurried to Al-Ka'bah and there, in the courtyard of the Holy Sanctuary, found Abu Jahl
sitting with a company of Quraishites. Hamzah rushed upon him and struck his bow upon his head
violently and said: "Ah! You have been abusing Muhammad (Peace be upon him); I too follow his
religion and profess what he preaches." The men of Bani Makhzum came to his help, and men of
Bani Hashim wanted to render help, but Abu Jahl sent them away saying: "Let Abu 'Ummarah alone,
by Allâh I did revile his nephew shamelessly." In fact, Hamzah's conversion derived initially from the
pride of a man who would not accept the notion of others humiliating his relative. Later on,
however, Allâh purified his nature and he managed to grasp the most trustworthy hand-hold (Faith
in Allâh). He proved to be a source of great strength to the Islamic Faith and its followers.
Another significant addition to the strength of
Islam was the conversion of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab in Dhul-Hijjah, the sixth year of Prophethood,
three days following the conversion of Hamzah. ] He was a man of dauntless courage and
resolution, feared and respected in Makkah, and hitherto a bitter opponent of the new religion. The
traditional account reveals that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) once raised his hands in prayer
and said:
"O Allâh! Give strength to Islam especially through either of two men you love more: 'Umar
bin Al-Khattab or Abu Jahl bin Hisham."
'Umar, obviously, was the one who merited that privilege.
When we scrutinize the several versions that speak of 'Umar's conversion, we can safely conclude
that various contradictory emotions used to conflict with one another within his soul. On the one
hand, he used to highly regard the traditions of his people, and was habituated to the practice of
indulgence in wine orgies; on the other hand, he greatly admired the stamina of the Muslims and
their relentless dedication to their faith. These two extreme views created a sort of skepticism in
himind and made him at times tend to believe that the doctrines of Islam could bear better and
more sacred seeds of life, that is why he would always experience fits of outrage directly followed by
unexpected enervation. On the whole, the account of his conversion is very interesting and requires
us to go into some details.
One day, 'Umar bin Al-Khattab set out from his house, and headed for the Holy Sanctuary where he
saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him) offering prayer and overheard him reciting the
Sûrah Al-
(Chapter 69 — The Reality) of the Noble Qur'ân. The Words of Allâh appealed to him and
touched the innermost cells of his heart. He felt that they derived from unusual composition, and he
began to question his people's allegations as regards the man-composed poetry or words of a
soothsayer that they used to attach to the Noble Qur'ân. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) went on
to recite:
"That this is verily the word of an honoured Messenger (i.e. Gabriel or Muhammad (Peace be
upon him) which he has brought from Allâh). It is not the word of a poet, little is that you
believe! Nor is it the word of a soothsayer (or a foreteller), little is that you remember! This
is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the '
(mankind, jinns and all that
exists)." [69:40-43]
At that very moment, Islam permeated his heart. However, the dark layer of pre-Islamic tendencies,
the deep-seated traditional bigotry as well as the blind pride in his forefathers overshadowed the
essence of the great Truth that began to feel its way reluctantly into his heart. He, therefore,
persisted in his atrocities against Islam and its adherents unmindful of the pure and true-to-man's
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