Monday, July 7, 2008

How Hamza & Omar Embraced Islam

Hamza is the Prophet's uncle, the son of Abdul Mutalib and so the brother of the Prophet's father.

He was a brave warrior and a strong man who sought his own pleasures and never cared about the issues of Mekkah.

One day after a hunting trip, a Muslim woman asked him "how he could go hunting while his nephew was assaulted by Abu-Jahl."

Hamza was enraged and headed to the Ka3ba and asked Abu-jahl, "How dare you abuse him?" and then he hit him on the head.

The next day Hamza went to his nephew the Prophet PBUH and Mohammed proposed Islam to his uncle and Hamza embraced it without any hesitation. He encouraged the Prophet to proceed with his message and promised him he'll always be by his side.

Unlike Hamza, Omar embraced Islam in a gradual process. He used to be an extremely tough person. He used to walk after the prophet PBUH wherever he went, and used to prevent him from talking to people and spreading the message of Islam.

Omar tells the story of his Islam. He says that the first time Islam found a way to his heart was when he used to beat up his female slave. Strong as he was, he would beat her until he would get tired, yet she remained quite unexhausted. Once again, a Muslim woman demonstrated her strength and capability to fortify the society.

Another day, Omar went to meet his drinking friends as usual, but he did not find them. Nor did he find the wine seller. He decided to go to the Ka3ba. When he arrived he found the prophet PBUH praying. He decided to listen quietly and see what he said. The Prophet PBUH was reading Surat Al-Haqqah.

click to listen to Surat Al-Haqqah:

After listening for a while, he thought that Mohammed was a magician, then he heard the prophet PBUH reciting what can be translate as, "And in no way is it the saying of a poet- little do you believe" (TQM, 69:41).

He thought the prophet was a fortuneteller, then the prophet PBUH recited what can be translated as, "Nor the saying of a soothsayer- little are you mindful of!" (TQM, 69:42).

He reflected on what this was all about, only to hear the prophet PBUH reciting what can be translated as, "A successive sending down from The Lord of the worlds" (TQM, 69:43).

He said, “I felt a tremor in my body and Islam found further way to my heart”.

The final stage in the Omar's way to Islam, was when he decided to kill the prophet PBUH because of all the confusion he felt.

On his way, he met a Muslim man who asked him where he was going. Omar told him about his intention. The companion was worried about the prophet so he told him to see his own sister first. He told Omar that his sister, Fatima, was a Muslim.

Omar, burning with anger, went to his sister's house, where he found her reciting Surat Ta-Ha, together with her husband and Khabath.

click to listen to Surat Ta-Ha:

He recited some verses and then, asked for Mohammed. Khabath told he was at Al-Arqam's house. Omar immediately went to Al-Arqam's house and declared that he embraced Islam, in a new victory for the Muslims at the time.

On his first day as a Muslim, Omar had a number of great achievements. One minute after declaring himself a Muslim, Omar asked the Prophet PBUH to go out and declare that there is not God to be worshipped but Allah. The Muslims went to the Ka3ba in two queues, one led by Hamza and the other by Omar, in a scene that is totally new to the people of Mekkah.

Moreover, Omar wanted all Quraysh to know that he became a Muslim. He went to Abu-Jahl and to Abu-Sufyan and told them. However, this was not enough. He went to a man called Jamil Ibnul-Moamar, who is well known as the tattle monger of Mekkah. No sooner did Omar tell him than he started to run in the streets and announced the news.

On the same day, Omar knew that Quraysh decided to gather at Ka3ba to discuss this issue. Omar went to them and was engaged in a brutal fight with them. When Omar eventually, arrived home, he summoned his children and ordered them, to embrace Islam, only to find that his youngest son Abdullah Ibn-Omar had been a Muslim for a year.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Examples of Hardships Undergone by Companions (Al97abah)

Abdullah Ibn-Masood, a companion who was very weakly built, decided to make Quraysh listen to the Qur’an. He went to the K’aba and started to recite ayahs from Surat Ar-Rahman as loud as he could. Day after day the disbelievers gathered and beat him up, yet he did not stop, until the Prophet PBUH advised him to do so. The message is that we must not be shy to stand up for what is right.

One day ten men from Quraysh gathered around the Prophet PBUH and assaulted him. Abu-Bakr, who is "the bravest of all men", according to Ali (RA), defended the Prophet PBUH. Consequently, the gathered disbelievers left the Prophet PBUH alone and started to attack Abu-Bakr. He was brutally beaten on his face until he fainted and they thought he was dead. After being taken to his house, he awoke at night asking about the Prophet PBUH. Exhausted as he was, he asked his mother and Fatima bintul-Khattab to take him to the Prophet so as to be re-assured. This is the real love for the Prophet PBUH.

Many companions underwent severe torture. For instance, Belal was left by the disbelievers in the hot weather of Makkah’s desert wearing iron shields, and on his body the would put extremely heavy stones. The youth, Al-Zobeir Ibnul-Awam (16 years old) was tortured by his uncle. The latter used to wrap him up in a piece of cloth and hang him above a fire, so that only the hot smoke would reach him. Young as he was, Al-Zobeir suffered a serious lung disease.

Another example is given by Saad Ibn-Abu-Waqas, who used to be quite rightful to his mother. Nonetheless, when he embraced Islam, his mother threatened him to stop eating and drinking, so that he might change his belief. In effect, she starved herself and became very ill after three days. However, he firmly told her that he is adamant on his belief. Ayahs were revealed to the Prophet PBUH, telling Sa3ad to be more merciful, “And We have enjoined upon man the fair (companionship) to his parents; and in case they strive with you to make you associate with Me that whereof you have no knowledge, then do not obey them" (TQM, 29:8).

Complete families and household also suffered. This is illustrated in the story of the family of Yasser. The wife, Somaya Bintul-Khayat, a slim, weak, 60 years-old woman, was often tortured by Abu-Jahl, until she died. She became the first Muslim martyr. It is noteworthy that the first Muslim after the prophet was a woman, the first to support the messenger of Allah was a woman and the first martyr was also a woman. Reflecting on this issue, I think the message is: this should boost all men to work hard and strive for the cause of Islam. Two days later, Somaya’s husband, Yasser died, leaving behind the young, Ammar Ibn-Yasser, who suffered greatly, as well. Ten years later, when Abu-Jahl was killed in the Battle of Badr, the Prophet PBUH summoned Ammar to tell him the Allah avenged his mother.

Amr Khalid says that these examples are not meant to tell us that we have to undergo the same suffering. The point is that we have to carry the message so forcefully and relentlessly as the prophet’s companions did. We may take pigeons as an example. Pigeons so much value there message that they fly very high, despite all rain or heat, so as to avoid hunters and they do not stop for food, in order to deliver their message safely. Why don’t we indeed take the pigeons an example to follow!