Two days after Sayyiduna Hamzah رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ embraced Islam, Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was also blessed with the wealth of Iman. How he embraced Islam has been differently narrated by various narrators. It is narrated: One day, carrying his unsheathed sword in extreme anger, he went to martyr the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم with the very same sword. On the way, he came across Sayyiduna Nu’aym Bin ‘Abdullah Qurayshi رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ who had become Muslim but Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was unaware of it. Sayyiduna Nu’aym Bin ‘Abdullah Qurayshi رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ asked, ‘O ‘Umar! Where are you going in this hot sunshine with your sword unsheathed?’ He replied, ‘I have today come out of my home to assassinate [i.e. to murder] the founder of Islam.’ Sayyiduna Nu’aym Bin ‘Abdullah Qurayshi رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ said, ‘Do you know that your own sister ‘Fatimah Bint Al-Khattab’ and your brother-in-law ‘Sa’eed Bin Zayd’ have also become Muslim?’ Listening to it, he reached the home of his sister and knocked on the door. Some Muslims were reciting the Holy Quran secretly in home. Listening to the voice of Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ, all became fearful and hid here and there, leaving the pages of the Quran. His sister opened the door. He shouted, ‘You are the enemy of your own life! Have you also accepted Islam?’ Then, grabbing the beard of his brother-in-law and throwing him to the ground, he sat on his chest and began to beat him. His sister ran to save her husband, so he slapped her on the face so hard that her earring broke and fell down and her face was covered in blood. His sister said in a straightforward way, ‘O ‘Umar! Do whatever you can. We have accepted Islam from the bottom of our heart and will never abandon it.’
Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ saw the blood-stained face of his sister and heard what she had said in an extremely determined way, so he was overwhelmed and his heart melted. He remained silent for a while. Then he said, ‘Show to me what you were reciting.’ His sister placed the pages of the Quran in front of him. He picked them up, and his eye fell on the Ayah1
‘سَبَّحَ لِلّٰهِ مَا فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِۚ-وَ هُوَ الْعَزِیْزُ الْحَكِیْمُ(۱)’. Each and every word of this Ayah pierced his heart, inspiring him to believe them to be true. It was as if each and every hair of his body trembled. When he saw the Ayah2‘اٰمِنُوْا بِاللّٰهِ وَ رَسُوْلِهٖ’, he was extremely overwhelmed and called out spontaneously ‘اَشْھَدُ اَنْ لَّآ اِلٰەَ اِلَّا اللّٰەُ وَ اَشْھَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰەِ’ . At that time, the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم was staying at the home of Sayyiduna Arqam Bin Abu Arqam رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ. Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ came out of the home of his sister and reached the home of Sayyiduna Arqam. The door was locked. He knocked on it. People peeped through the chink in the door and saw that Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was standing with an unsheathed sword in his hand. No one could dare to open the door but Sayyiduna Hamzah رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ said loudly, ‘Open the door and let him come in. If he has come with a good intention, he will be welcomed; otherwise, his head will be cut off with his own sword.’
As soon as Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ came in, the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم came forward, held his arm and said, ‘O the son of Khattab! You become a Muslim. For how long will you continue to oppose me?’ Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ recited the Kalimah loudly. The Greatest and Noblest Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم exclaimed in delight,‘اَللّٰەُ اَکْبَر’. All those present replied to the slogan of Takbeer so loudly that the mountains of Makkah echoed with it. Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ said, ‘Ya Rasoolallah صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم ! Why should we hide from disbelievers at the time of worshipping the Almighty? Please get up! Let’s go to the Ka’bah and worship the Almighty openly. By Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! I will now openly make announcement about my reversion3 to Islam in all those gatherings of disbelievers I used to oppose Islam in.’ Therefore, the Revered and Renowned Rasool صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم , accompanied by a group of companions in two lines, went towards the Masjid-ul-Haraam. Sayyiduna Hamzah and Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُمَاwere at the front of the first and the second line respectively. They entered the Masjid-ul-Haraam in this wonderful way and offered Salah. In the Haram of the Ka’bah and in the presence of the polytheists, Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ announced openly that he had become Muslim. Listening to it, disbelievers ran at him from all directions and began to beat him. Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ also fought against them. A great uproar was provoked. Meanwhile, Abu Jahl who was the maternal uncle of Sayyiduna ‘Umar came and asked about the uproar. People told him that ‘Umar had embraced Islam and the angry crowd had attacked him for that reason. Listening to it, Abu Jahl stood in the Hateem of the Ka’bah and, gesturing with his sleeve, announced, ‘I have given refuge to my nephew, ‘Umar.’ Hearing this announcement made by Abu Jahl, the crowd dispersed. Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ stated, ‘After I embraced Islam, I often beat disbelievers and was beaten by them. At last, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ made Islam dominant over disbelief.’4
There is another report of how Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ accepted Islam. He stated: In the state of disbelief, I was present near the idols of the Quraysh. A person brought a baby cow and slaughtered it mentioning the names of idols. Shouting very loudly, someone said, ‘یَا جَلِیْحُ اَمْرٌ نَّجِیْحٌ رَجُلٌ فَصِیْحٌ یَقُوْلُ لَآ اِلٰەَ اِلَّا اللّٰەُ’. Hearing it, people fled but I was determined to know about it.
The voice came once again,‘یَا جَلِیْحُ اَمْرٌ نَّجِیْحٌ رَجُلٌ فَصِیْحٌ یَقُوْلُ لَآ اِلٰەَ اِلَّا اللّٰەُ’translation: O bitter enemy! There is something that leads to success, i.e. an eloquent man is saying ‘لَآ اِلٰەَ اِلَّا اللّٰەُ’. Except me, there was no one near the idols. Soon after this, the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم made the declaration of Nubuwwah. Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was very much impressed with it. Hence it must have inspired him to embrace Islam.5
When the disbelievers of Makkah caused too much harm to Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ, ‘Aas Bin Waa`il Sahmi who was his supporter in the pre-Islamic era of ignorance also gave him refuge. Hence he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ became safe from the attacks of disbelievers.6