Fatimah bint Al-Khattab - Secrets and Defiance
Lady Knights


Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…

Called Mecca where lived a quiet and sweet young woman. Her name was Fatimah and she was happily married to Saeed bin Zaid Al-Adwi, a man who understood and loved his wife deeply. When the two of them heard of Islam and learned of its wise tenets, by mutual agreement they became Muslims.

In contrast, Fatimah's brother, Umar, didn't like this new religion at all. He hated how the religion had divided the people of Quraish and he had no interest in the temperance and morals it preached. Umar was a man of strong passions who expressed his opinions with his fist and sword as often as he did with his tongue.

So it was no surprise when, on an impulse, Umar caught up his sword with the intent of murdering Muhammad , the Prophet and Messenger of God. As he strode through the streets of Mecca, Umar passed an acquaintance named Naeem bin Abdullah who innocently asked him where he was going. Without embarrassment, Umar told Naeem of his murderous intentions.

Naeem argued briefly with Umar to no avail. Finally, Umar accused Naeem of having become a Muslim. Without confirming or denying anything, Naeem replied that Umar should look to his own family if he wished to rid himself of unwanted Muslims. Stunned, Umar hotly demanded an explanation. Naeem cheerfully told Umar that his sister Fatimah and her husband Saeed had both become Muslims. In a blind rage, Umar whirled and ran towards his sister's home, his original target forgotten.

When Umar arrived at Fatimah's house, Khabbab bin Al-Art was there reading some Quran aloud to both Fatimah and Saeed. Umar eavesdropped intently and was puzzled by what he heard but he decided it must have something to do with Islam so he pounded loudly on the door, demanding to be let in.

Fatimah knew Umar well, and she feared the violence he often used to express his temper, so she hid Khabbab bin Al-Art away in a small side room. Then, with her heart aflutter but a serene look on her face, she opened the door. Fatimah and Saeed stood side by side as Umar stormed in.

"What was that sound I heard?!" Umar demanded hotly.

"You didn't hear anything," Fatimah replied coldly.

An argument ensued during which Umar leapt upon Saeed and beat him until he lay defeated on the floor. Fatimah of course did not stand idly by. She caught hold of her brother and did everything she could to defend her beleaguered husband. Still in the grip of his rage, Umar turned and struck Fatimah across the face.

As blood started running down Fatimah's face, Umar stood in shocked silence. Despite his wild passions, Umar was nevertheless a man who prided himself on his honor and everyone knew there was nothing honorable about striking a woman, much less striking one's own sister.

Fatimah stood tall, with her chin tilted up, and as blood ran down her face in crimson streaks she said defiantly to Umar, "I have become a Muslim, do what you will."

Umar stood transfixed. Whenever his temper flared, everyone fled. Yet here stood his sister Fatimah with blood on her face defying him and challenging him to do something, anything about her change of religion. Short of killing her, Umar realized, there was nothing he could do.

"Show me what you were reading," Umar said in an unusually subdued voice.

"Not until you clean up," Fatimah replied firmly.

Umar obediently went and cleaned himself up, then he sat and read the beginning of surat Ta-ha while Fatimah tended to her husband's cuts and bruises. The silence in the quiet house wasn't broken until Umar spoke in a soft voice, but this time his voice was tinged with wonder, "How beautiful these words are and how reverent!"

When Khabbab heard Umar utter those words, he stepped out of his hiding place and said excitedly, "I hope that God has made you the answer to the prayer of his Prophet! I heard him say in a prayer, 'May God support Islam with Abu Jahal bin Hisham or with Umar bin Al-Khattab'."

Startled by Khabbab's sudden appearance and his excited words, Umar stared a moment then asked Khabbab where he could find Muhammad . Umar assured Khabbab that he only wanted to know because he intended to become a Muslim. Still excited, and with his fears allayed, Khabbab told Umar where to find Muhammad , at Dar Al-Arqam.

Fatimah watched with a wistful smile and a rueful shake of her head as her brash brother rushed out of the house just as quickly as he had rushed in.

Umar hurried over to Dar Al-Arqam and declared himself a Muslim, much to the surprise and delight of all those present. It wasn't long before all of Mecca knew that Umar bin Al-Khattab had become a Muslim.

Thereafter, people often spoke of the secret Fatimah had kept and how her defiance in the face of Umar's explosive temper had brought her brother to a standstill and made him reevaluate his life and discover a new faith and a gentler way of life.

*Written by © 2012. Care to read or leave Comments?

Notes:
  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Abu Jahal: أبو جهل عمر بن هشام.
    • Fatimah bint Al-Khattab: فاطمة بنت الخطاب.
    • Khabbab bin Al-Art: خباب بن الأرت.
    • Muhammad : خاتم الأنبياء الرسول محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم
    • Naeem bin Abdullah: نعيم بن عبدالله.
    • Saeed bin Zaid Al-Adwi: سعيد بن زيد العدوي.
    • Umar bin Al-Khattab: عُمر بن الخطّاب.

Sources:
  1. Al-Suhaibani, A. (2004 AD, 1425 H). صور من سير الصحابيات [Brief Biographies of Lady Contemporaries]. Riyadh: Dar Aalam Al-Kutub Publishing and Distributing. Page 167-171.
  2. Halbi, M. (2006 AD, 1427 H). المائة الأوائل من صحابيات الرسول [The Hundred First Lady Contemporaries of the Messenger] (2nd Ed). Beirut: Dar El-Marefah Publishing & Distributing. Page 373-374.
  3. Al-Amili, Z. (2000 AD, 1421 H). معجم أعلام النساء [Compendium of Notable Women]. Beirut: Al-Rey'yaan Co. Page 590.

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