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Jamadil Akhir 21 Tuesday Hijrah 1443
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Title – The Message   Preface   Arabian Peninsula the Cradle of Islamic Culture   Arabia before Islam   Conditions of Roman and Iranian Empires   Ancestors of the Prophet   Birth of the Prophet   Childhood of the Prophet   Rejoining the Family   Period of Youth   From Shepherd to Merchant   From Marriage up to Prophethood   The First Manifestation of Reality   The First Revelation   Who were the First Persons to Embrace Islam?   Cessation of revelation   General Invitation   Judgement of Quraysh about the Holy Qur’an   The First Migration   Rusty Weapons   The Fiction of Gharaniq   Economic Blockade   Death of Abu Talib   Me’raj – The Heavenly Ascension   Journey to Ta’if   The Agreement of Aqabah   The Event of Migration   The Events of the First Year of Migration   Some Events of the First and Second years of Migration   The Events of the Second Year of Migration   Change of Qiblah   The Battle of Badr   Dangerous Designs of the Jews   The Events of the Third Year of Migration   The Events of the Third and Fourth years of Migration   The Jews Quit the Zone of Islam   The Events of the Fourth Year of Migration   The Events of the Fifth Year Of Migration   The Battle of Ahzab   The Last Stage of Mischief   The Events of the Fifth and Sixth years of Migration   The events of the Sixth Year of Migration   A Religious and Political Journey   The Events of the Seventh Year of Migration   Fort of Khayber the Centre of Danger   The Story of Fadak   The Lapsed ‘Umrah   The Events of the Eighth Year of Migration   The Battle of Zatus Salasil   The Conquest of Makkah   The Battle of Hunayn   The Battle of Ta’if   The Famous Panegyric of Ka’b Bin Zuhayr   The Events of the Ninth Year of Migration   The Battle of Tabuk   The Deputation of Thaqif goes to Madina   The Prophet Mourning for his Son   Eradication of Idol-Worship in Arabia   Representatives of Najran in Madina   The Events of the Tenth Year of Migration   The Farewell Hajj   Islam is completed by the Appointment of Successor   The Events of the Eleventh Year of Migration   A Will which was not written   The Last Hours of the Prophet  

Restatement of the History of Islam & Muslims

By Sayed Ali Asgher Razawy

Contents

Chapter# /Title

1: Title
2: Chapter 1: Introduction
3: Chapter 2: The Geography of Arabia
4: Chapter 3: Before Islam
5: Chapter 4: Banu Hashim – Before the Birth of Islam
6: Chapter 5: The Birth of Muhammad and the Early Years of his Life
7: Chapter 6: The Marriage of Muhammad Mustafa and Khadija
8: Chapter 7: The Birth of Ali ibn Abi Talib
9: Chapter 8: On the Eve of the Proclamation of His Mission
10: Chapter 9: The Birth of Islam and the Proclamation by Muhammad of his Mission
11: Chapter 10: Early Converts to Islam and their persecution
12: Chapter 11: The Two Migrations of Muslims to Abyssinia (A.D. 615-616)
13: Chapter 12: Hamza Accepts Islam – A.D. 615
14: Chapter 13: Umar’s Conversion to Islam – A.D. 616
15: Chapter 14: The Economic and Social Boycott of the Banu Hashim (A.D. 616-619)
16: Chapter 15: The Deaths of Khadija and Abu Talib – A.D. 619
17: Chapter 16: Muhammad’s Visit to Ta’if
18: Chapter 17: The New Horizons of Islam
19: Chapter 18: The Hijra (Migration)
20: Chapter 19: The First Year of Hijra
21: Chapter 20: The Battles of Islam
22: Chapter 21: The Second Year of the Hijra
23: Chapter 22: The Battle of Badr
24: Chapter 23: The Marriage of Fatima Zahra and Ali ibn Abi Talib
25: Chapter 24: The Battle of Uhud
26: Chapter 25: The Birth of Hasan and Husain
27: Chapter 26: The Battle of the Trench
28: Chapter 27: The Muslims and the Jews
29: Chapter 28: The Treaty of Hudaybiyya
30: Chapter 29: The Conquest of Khyber
31: Chapter 30: The Battle of Mootah
32: Chapter 31: The Campaign of Dhat es-Salasil
33: Chapter 32: The Conquest of Makkah
34: Chapter 33: The Battle of Hunayn
35: Chapter 34: The Expedition of Tabuk
36: Chapter 35: The Proclamation of Surah Bara’ah or Al Tawbah
37: Chapter 36: The Last Expedition
38: Chapter 37: The Farewell Pilgrimage
39: Chapter 38: The Coronation of Ali ibn Abi Talib as the Future Sovereign of the Muslims and as Head of the Islamic State
40: Chapter 39: Usama’s Expedition
41: Chapter 40: Abu Bakr as Leader in Prayers (s)
42: Chapter 41: The Unwritten Testament of the Messenger of God
43: Chapter 42: The Wives of the Muhammad the Apostle of God
44: Chapter 43: The Death of Muhammad, the Messenger of God
45: Chapter 44: The Reaction of the Family and the Companions of Muhammad Mustafa to his Death
46: Chapter 45: Muhammad Mustafa and his Succession
47: Chapter 46: The Sunni Theory of Government
48: Chapter 47: The Struggle for Power I
49: Chapter 48: The Struggle for Power II
50: Chapter 49: The Struggle for Power III
51: Chapter 50: The Struggle for Power IV
52: Chapter 51: A Critique of Saqifa
53: Chapter 52: Saqifa and the Logic of History
54: Chapter 53: Saad ibn Ubada, the Ansari Candidate for Caliphate
55: Chapter 54: Abu Bakr the first Khalifa of the Muslims
56: Chapter 55: Principal Events of the Caliphate of Abu Bakr
57: Chapter 56: Democracy and the Muslims
58: Chapter 57: Umar bin al-Khattab, the Second Khalifa of the Muslims
59: Chapter 58: Uthman, the Third Khalifa of the Muslims
60: Chapter 59: Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Fourth Caliph of the Muslims
61: Chapter 60: Prelude to the War
62: Chapter 61: The Battle of Basra (the battle of Camel)
63: Chapter 62: The Change of Capital from Medina to Kufa
64: Chapter 63: The Revival of the Umayyads
65: Chapter 64: The Battle of Siffin
66: Chapter 65: The Death of Malik al-Ashtar and the Loss of Egypt
67: Chapter 66: The Assassination of Ali
68: Chapter 67: Some Reflections on Ali’s Caliphate
69: Chapter 68: Ali’s Internal and External and Internal Policy
70: Chapter 69: Ali as an Apostle of Peace
71: Chapter 70: Ali and the Ideals of Freedom and Liberty
72: Chapter 71: A List of “Firsts” in Islam
73: Chapter 72:The “Indispensability Equation” of Islam
74: Chapter 73: The Sacrifices of Muhammad for Islam
75: Chapter 74: The Major Failure of Abu Bakr and Umar
76: Chapter 75: Who Wrote the History of Islam and How?

Chapter 13:

Umar’s Conversion to Islam – A.D. 616 

The most notable event of the year 6 of the Proclamation was the conversion to Islam of Umar bin al-Khattab, a future khalifa of the Muslims. He was one of the most rabid enemies of Islam and of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, and was a great tormentor of the Muslims. The modern Egyptian historian, Amin Dawidar, says that Umar’s hatred of Islam, and his hostility to Muhammad, were matched only by the hatred of, and hostility to them, of his own maternal uncle, Abu Jahl.

It is said that one day in sheer exasperation, Umar resolved to kill Muhammad, and thus to extinguish the flame of Islam itself. He left his home with this intention.

As already noted, the Muslims at this time (the last days of the year 6) still gathered in the house of Arqam bin Abi al-Arqam to say their congregational prayers. They were beginning to assemble when one of them, looking out the window, saw Umar approaching toward the house with a drawn sword. In a state of considerable alarm, he told the other members of the congregation what he saw. Presumably, they too were alarmed. But Hamza, who was also present in the house of Arqam, reassured them, and said that if Umar was coming with good intentions, then it was all right; but if not, then he (Hamza) would run him (Umar) through with his (Umar’s) own sword. But it so happened that Umar had come with the intention of accepting Islam, and he did.

The story is told that Umar was going toward Dar-ul-Arqam with the intention of killing Muhammad when a passer-by stopped him, and informed him that his own sister and her husband had become Muslims, and advised him to put his own house in order before undertaking any other grandiose and chimerical project.

Muhammad Husayn Haykal

Umar went there (to Dar-ul-Arqam) resolved to kill Muhammad and thus relieve the Quraysh of its burden, restore its ravaged unity, and re-establish respect for the gods that Muhammad had castigated. On the road to Makkah he was met by Nu’aym ibn Abdullah. Upon learning what Umar was about, Nu’aym said, “By God, you have deceived yourself, O Umar! Do you think that Banu Abd Manaf would let you run around alive once you had killed their son Muhammad? Why don’t you return to your own house and at least set it straight?” (The Life of Muhammad)

Umar was furious to hear that his sister and her husband had become Muslims. He immediately changed his direction from Arqam’s house to her house to investigate the allegation. In reply to his questions, she gave a discreet but evasive answer.

Ibn Ishaq 

Umar came to the door (of the house of his sister) as Khabbab (a companion of the Prophet) was studying under her guidance the Sura Taha and also “When the Sun is Overthrown” (81:1). The polytheists used to call this reading “rubbish”. When Umar came in, his sister saw that he meant mischief and hid the sheets from which they were reading. Khabbab slipped away into the house. Umar asked what was the gibberish he had heard, to which she answered that it was merely conversation between them…” (The Life of the Messenger of God)

Umar exploded in wrath at what he believed to be a prevarication, and struck his sister in her face. The blow caused her mouth to bleed. He was going to strike again but the sight of blood made him pause. He suddenly appeared to relent, and then in a changed tone asked her to show him what she was reading. She sensed a change in him but said: “You are an unclean idolater, and I cannot allow you to touch the Word of God.”

Umar immediately went away, washed himself, returned to his sister’s home, read the text of Qur’an, and then went to the house of Arqam where he formally accepted Islam.

Sir William Muir says that Umar’s conversion to Islam took place at the close of the sixth year of the Prophet’s mission. He adds the following footnote: 

It (Umar’s conversion) occurred in Dhul Hijjah the last month of the year. The believers are said now to have amounted in all to 40 men and ten women; or by other accounts, to 45 men and eleven women. (The Life of Mohammed, 1877, p. 95)

Umar was about 35 years old when he became a Muslim.

Muhammad Husayn Haykal

At that time, (when he was converted to Islam) Umar ibn al Khattab was a mature man of thirty to thirty-five years of age.  (The Life of Muhammad)

Many Muslims claim that with Umar’s conversion, Islam recruited new strength, and Muslims were now emboldened to dare the pagans. They could, according to these claims, now come out of their places of hiding, and pray openly in the precincts of Kaaba, or rather, it was Umar himself who brought them out of their hiding places, and they were not now afraid of Abu Jahl or of anyone else.

Muhammad Husayn Haykal

The Muslims who returned from Abyssinia did so for two reasons. First, Umar ibn al Khattab was converted to Islam shortly after their emigration. With him, he brought to the Muslim camp the same boldness, determination, and the tribal standing with which he had been fighting the Muslims before. He never concealed his conversion nor did he ever shun the Quraysh opponents. On the contrary, he proclaimed his conversion publicly and challenged the Quraysh openly. He did not approve the Muslims’ concealment of themselves, their secret movement from one end of Makkah to the other, and their holding of prayers at a safe distance from any Quraysh attack. Umar began to fight the Quraysh as soon as he entered the faith of Islam, constantly pressed his way close to the Kaaba, and performed his prayer there in company with whatever Muslims decided to join him. (The Life of Muhammad)

But these curious claims find little support in evidence. And if the evidence means anything, it appears to run counter to the claims themselves.

Some claims are even more extravagant. For example, the Egyptian historian, Amin Dawidar, says in his book, Pictures From the Life of the Messenger of God, that Umar’s conversion to Islam was a death blow to the Quraysh.

What actually happened was that Umar’s conversion to Islam synchronized with a new and an unprecedented wave of terror that broke over the Muslims. Whereas before his conversion only those Muslims were victims of persecution who had no one to protect them, now no Muslim, not even Muhammad Mustafa himself, was safe from the malevolence of the polytheists.

Muhammad Husayn Haykal

In their exile (in Abyssinia), they (the emigrants) heard that upon Umar’s conversion the Quraysh had stopped their persecution of Muhammad and his followers. According to one report a number of them had returned to Makkah, according to another, all. On reaching Makkah they realized that the Quraysh had resumed persecution of the Muslims with stronger hatred and renewed vigor. Unable to resist, a number of them returned to Abyssinia while others entered Makkah under the cover of night and hid themselves away. (The Life of Muhammad, Cairo, 1935)

But this was not all. Much more was yet to come. Now Muhammad Mustafa, the Messenger of God, could not even live in Makkah. In fact, little more than a week had passed since Umar’s conversion to Islam, when Muhammad and all members of his family and clan, had to leave Makkah, and had to go into exile. Therefore, the theory that Umar’s conversion to Islam caused Muslims to abandon their caution and defensive posture, and to defy the infidels, is simply not coincident with facts.

S. Margoliouth

…..we have no record of any occasion on which Umar displayed remarkable courage, though many examples are at hand of his cruelty and bloodthirstiness; at the battle of Hunain he ran away, and on another occasion owed his life to the good nature of an enemy. (Mohammed and the Rise of Islam, 1931)

Professor Margoliouth has made a reference to the occasion when a good-natured enemy spared Umar’s life. He must be referring to the battle of the Trench or the Siege of Medina (A.D. 627). In that battle, Ali ibn Abi Talib killed the Makkan general, Amr ibn Abd Wudd, whereupon his (Amr’s) comrades-in-arms hastily retreated across the Trench. When they were retreating, Umar tried to overtake one of them. This knight, who was in retreat, had heard that Ali never pursued a fleeing enemy. He, therefore, figured that whoever was pursuing him then, could not be Ali. Out of curiosity, he stole a glance backwards and noticed that it was Umar who was bearing down upon him. When he saw Umar, he immediately turned the reins of his horse to face him, and this made him (Umar) stop. The knight who knew Umar, said to him: “If my mother had not made me vow that I would never kill a Qurayshi, you would be a dead man now. Be grateful to her, and do not forget that I have spared your life.”

It may be noted that Hamza had accepted Islam one year before Umar became a Muslim, and he had signalized his conversion by striking Abu Jahl, the maternal uncle of Umar, with his bow. One may not expect Umar to emulate Hamza’s example by striking his own uncle, but there is no record that he struck any other idolater for showing insolence to the Apostle of God. Furthermore, when Hamza accepted Islam and bloodied the nose of Abu Jahl, Umar himself was an idolater. It was his duty, in the name of “tribal solidarity,” to challenge Hamza, and to defend the honor of the brother of his mother. After all, according to many claims in circulation, he was the most fearless, the most fear-inspiring, the most violent-tempered, and the most headstrong man in Makkah. And who but Umar would dare to challenge Hamza? But the challenge never came. 

 

 

 

 

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