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Hazrat Umar (R.A)

Ali Raza liaqat

When ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab Radiyallahu Anhu became the Amir ul Mu’mineen - he used to convene gatherings with the Muslim elders (the eminent Sahabah).- as most would call it - shura.

However, these gatherings were completely exclusive. Exclusive in such a way that only those who were invited had the right to attend.

One day, ‘Umar RA called for a gathering of such - when everyone were seated and were about to start one little boy came in. He was ‘Abdullah Ibn Abbas, the son of ‘Al Abbas (the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ).

At first, they thought to themselves ‘Abdullah was ‘Abdullah (meaning he came from the family of the Prophet) but then again they thought they also had children who were just as same age as ‘Abdullah but never were they invited to come and attend the elite gathering - so this struck some of them as being unfair.

So they went and complained to ‘Umar RA and he did acknowledge their complaint and said “he is among those that you know about” (i.e those that you know are people of distinction and honor and knowledge).

However, to fully answer their question - several days later ‘Umar again called for a gathering again with the same attendees with ‘Abdullah RA being present once again.

When the meeting commenced, ‘Umar RA opened it with a question directed to everyone “What do you have to say about the following (verses)?” He RA then proceeded to recite portion of Surah An Nasr - Chapter 110.

”When there comes the Help of Allah (to you, O Muhammad ﷺ against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makkah), and you see the people enter Allah’s Religion (Islam) in crowds.]”

Some of them replied with “I do not know” while others did not give any reply. Remember that these were the eminent Sahabah - so you know it is a very difficult question if they were not able to answer it.

So, ‘Umar RA gave everyone a chance to answer it - one after another and made the youngest of the group, ‘Abdullah RA, the last to respond.

‘Umar RA said: “O son of Al Abbas, is that what you say also? (meaning do you also have nothing to say in reply to my question?)

’Abdullah RA replied: “No.”

‘Umar RA asked, “Then what do you say of these verses?”

’Abdullah RA replied: “Through these verses, Allah Azza Wa All was informing the Prophet ﷺ about the nearness of his death. When Allah Azza Wa Jall said, “When there comes the help of Allah (to you, O Muhammad ﷺ against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makkah), and you see the people enter Allah’s Religion (Islam) in crowds,” it was as if Allah Azza Wa Jall was saying the following to the Prophet ﷺ: “When Allah’s help comes to you in the form of the conquest of Makkah, then that is a sign of your imminent death...”

’Umar RA then said to ‘Abdullah RA, “What I know regarding this [chapter] is not any different than what you know regarding it (regarding its correct interpretation).
Subhan’Allah, did you see what ‘Umar RA did here.
Indeed, this was how ‘Umar RA was - he was known more of answering questions by giving or supporting them with an example or practically answering them rather than by mere words.

So yes, ‘Umar RA showcased that ‘Abdullah Ibn Abbas despite his young age was more knowledgeable than many of the eminent Sahabah let alone their children who were of his age.

‘Abdullah was only 13 years old when the Prophet ﷺ died yet this didn’t stop him from seeking knowledge by being in the company of the knowledgeable.

So why this topic- because I want to address an issue that many have shunned but is abruptly growing within our communities - the treatment new muslims get.

Come to think of it, ‘Abdullah RA was young and new to the group and so everyone questioned his presence - isn’t he like the new muslims of nowadays?

Today, when a person becomes a new muslim - rather than being purely happy for them, people tend to doubt their reasons why they accepted Islam.

A sister who have been in dawah for years shared one beautiful statement with me, she said: “Whatever the reason a person has in accepting Islam, it is between him or her and Allah - but also know that Allah has accepted that and has guided him or her to Islam. So we have no right to judge it rather we welcome them with open arms and help them with anything we can.”

But also, it’s not always the new Muslims even born Muslims go through this especially within their own families. When a born Muslim starts to practice and strive to become a better muslim - family members tend to mock them and think that they are very strict and have changed a lot and so they question them by throwing their past actions unto them.

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, whether you are a new Muslim or a born Muslim - seeking knowledge has been made obligatory for you - and this is not to harm you rather this is to help you and enable you to practice your religion in properly.

Indeed, it is true that knowledge is powerful as it impacts our lives. If you are beyond your college years and just started to seek knowledge - push through, if you are young and is just about to learn - go ahead, you have us to support you. There is no age in seeking knowledge rather we all have to avoid committing sins as sins shutters away knowledge in staying in our hearts and minds.

So if ever you find something difficult to understand, make istighfar.

May Allah make us amongst those people who seek knowledge purely for our own betterment as well as for His Sake so we may properly practice Islam in our lives.