One of the inward manners that one should abide by when reading the Glorious Qur’an is pondering over the meaning of the Qur’anic words and verses. When reading the Glorious Qur’an, one is recommended to think of the meaning and significance of what he reads. Allah, Most High, has revealed the Glorious Qur’an in order to be reflected upon and understood.
We hear a lot of stories about conversions to Islam, but when you go and read about these stories all of them go back to the core of Islam, the Qur’an. It is always His Words that sparks and ignites ones heart to fully turn back to His Creator.
Allow me to narrate to you the conversion story of ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab Radiyallahu Anhu, Many might have read about this but do me a favor and read until the end, and I pray it enlightens and inspires your heart to fall in love again with the words of Allah Azza Wa Jall.
“O Muslims, the Qur’an is to be read and reflected upon! Do not put it on your shelves for it is for you to use, have we forgotten how the Sahabah radiyallahu Anhum struggled to compile such beautiful gift from Allah?”
One day, full of anger against the Prophet, he (Umar Ibn Al Khattab – before accepting Islam) drew his sword and set out to kill him. A man from Bani Zuhrah (perhaps an acquaintance, who secretly professed Islam) met him on the way. When Umar told him what he planned to do, he informed him that Umar’s own sister, Fatimah, and her husband had also accepted Islam and abandoned your faith.
Umar went straight to his sister’s house where he found her reading from pages of the Qur’an. He fell upon her and beat her mercilessly. Bruised and bleeding, she told her brother, “Umar, you can do what you like, but you cannot turn our hearts away from Islam.”
Now one will be truly amazed on the faith of Faatimah as she said, “Then do whatever you planned to do. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. We have embraced Islam in spite of you!”
When ‘Umar Radiyallahu Anhu heard these words, he began to regret what he had done. He sat down on the ground, and he then said, “give me the scroll that is with you, so that I can read it.” Faatimah said,”I will not do that.”
‘Umar said, “Woe upon you! What you said struck a chord in my heart, so give it to me and let me see it. I give you the sincerest and strongest of pledges that I will not betray (by tearing it apart, for instance) and that I will give it back to you so you can then safeguard it in any place of your choosing.”
“You are impure,” Faatimah replied, thus alluding to the saying of Allah Azza Wa Jall (Qur’an 56:79)
“Then stand up and take a bath, or at least perform ablution,” Faatimah said.
‘Umar left, took a bath, and then returned to his sister, who then gave him the scroll. It contained Chapter Ta-Ha, in addition to other chapters of the Qur’an. The first words ‘Umar read were: In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.”
Upon reading the words: “The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,” ‘Umar felt frightened and dropped the scroll from his hand. When he then regained his composure, he picked up the scroll again and read the following verses of Chapter Ta-Ha:
“Ta-Ha. We have not sent down the Qur’an unto you (O Muhammad) to cause you distress, But only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah). A revelation from Him (Allah) Who has created the earth and high heavens. The Most Beneficent (Allah) rose over (Istawa) the (Mighty) throne (in a manner that suits His Mejsty). To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil. And if you (O Muhammad) speak (the invocation) aloud, then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden. Allah! La ilaha ila Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)! To Him belong the Best Names.” Qur’an 20:1-8
He felt the magnificence and greatness of what he was reading for upon finishing the said verses, he commented, “Is it from this that the Quraish have been running away?” He then continued to read on, until he reached the saying of Allah Azza Wa Jall:
“Verily! I am Allah! La ilaha illa Ana. ( none has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) for My remembrance. Verily, the Hour is coming-and My Will is to keep it hidden- that every person may be rewarded for that which he strives. Therefore, let not the one who believes not therein (i.e in the Day of Resurrection, Reckoning, Paradise and Hell, etc.), but follows his own lusts, divert you therefrom, lest you perish.” Qur’an 20:14-16
‘Umar then said, “As for the One Who says this, it is not fitting that any other (false idol, person, angel or anyone or anything for that matter) should be worshipped alongside him. TAKE ME TO MUHAMMAD.”
Subhan’Allah. After hearing ‘Umar Radiyallahu Anhu uttered those last words, Khabbab who was hiding came out from his hiding place and exclaimed,” rejoice, O’Umar! For Indeed I hope that the supplication of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam made on Monday is being answered with you. He Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam said, “O Allah, honor Islam with the more beloved of these two men to you: Abu Jahl Ibn Hisham or ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab.”
And we all know what happened next, ‘Umar was more beloved to Allah Azza Wa Jall for ‘Umar embraced Islam.
Now why did I highlight this story of ‘Umar? Time by time, Muslims need reminders, inspiration and motivation. A lot of Muslims nowadays, have made the Qur’an nothing but among the ordinary books on their shelves, or decorations on their houses.
These words produced a strange effect upon Umar. What was this faith that made even weak women so strong of heart? He asked his sister to show him what she had been reading; he was at once moved to the core by the words of the Qur’an and immediately grasped their truth.
O Muslims, the Qur’an is to be read and reflected upon! Do not put it on your shelves for it is for you to use, have we forgotten how the Sahabah radiyallahu Anhum struggled to compile such beautiful gift from Allah?
Reflect O Muslims, are we the likes of ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab that when He read parts of the Qur’an he had the urge to enter the fold of Islam, we are Muslims, but indeed everyday we need to renew our iman, we need to enter again the fold of Islam, but how can one be given such thirst for Islam when one doesn’t become affected by the words of Allah Azza Wa Jall? Or are we the likes of Faatimah who stood up for Islam, even though they knew they could have faced death on that time?
Know that only through the words of Allah Azza Wa Jall did Faatimah hearts feel such strength within them to stand up for it and it is only through the words of Allah Azza Wa Jall did the heart of ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab become guided!
Abandoning The Qur’an —
Reciting But Not Reflecting — Nouman Ali Khan