Fatima bint Khattab (r.anha)
It was when the call to Islam was done secretly. The number of the Companions who believed was 10. One of them was Hz. Umar’s sister Fatima. Hz. Fatima was married to Said bin Zayd. Her husband was also a believer. They worshipped together and learnt the Quran together. Hz. Said became one of the 10 Companions who were given the glad tiding of being people of Paradise while they were alive.
Hz. Fatima and her husband were ready to sacrifice their lives for Allah and His messenger but her brother Umar was a ferocious enemy of Islam. He was the supporter of the polytheists. He did not know that his sister and brother-in-law had become Muslims.
That the number of the Muslims increased despite all tortures and oppression infuriated the polytheists. They believed that they had to find a solution. The solution they found was to kill the Prophet. They made a plan quickly. Umar was there too. He undertook the task of killing the Prophet. The polytheists were relieved because Umar was a strong person and he would fulfill any task he undertook. They assumed that this task was over.
Khattab’s son Umar girded on his sword immediately. He set off to fulfill the task he undertook. On the way, he met Nuaym bin Abdullah, one of his relatives. Abdullah was also a Muslim but he did not know about it. When Nuaym found out that Umar's aim was to kill the Messenger of Allah, he tried to dissuade him but it was in vain. Finally, in order to gain time, he said, “Your sister and your brother-in-law have also become Muslims. Go to them first.” Umar got very furious when he learned this unexpected news. He changed his way immediately and hurried on to the house of his sister.
Unaware of anything, Hz. Fatima and Umar's brother-in-law were learning the Quran from Hz. Habbab bin Arat. When they saw that Umar was at the door, they panicked. They hid the pages of the Quran and Habbab. Then, they opened the door. However, Umar had heard the Quran. As soon as he entered the house, he asked, “What was the sound that I heard?” He was furious. When he realized that they were hiding it, he said, “I was told that both of you entered the religion of Muhammad.” Hz. Said could not hide it any longer. He said, “O Umar! Have you not understood yet that the real religion is different from what you believe?” These unexpected words enraged Umar. He saw red. He walked toward his brother-in-law; he grabbed him by his collar and threw him down on the floor. Umar started to hit him. Fatima tried to save her husband but Umar slapped her, too. Fatima, whose face was bleeding was ready to die. She regarded dying in the way of Allah and His messenger as great happiness. Could there have been happiness greater than this for a Muslim? She shouted,
“Are you not ashamed of hitting a woman? Yes, we have become Muslims and believed in Allah and His messenger. We believe that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's messenger. Do whatever you can do to us.”
When Umar looked at his sister, he saw that her face was in blood. He regretted hitting her. His heart softened. He said, “Give me the thing that you were reading. I want to look at it.” However, Hz. Fatima feared that her brother would insult the Quran. She said, “We fear that you would insult it.” Umar told them not to fear. He swore that he would give it back after reading it. This situation filled Hz. Fatima with hope. She hoped that her brother would be a Muslim. She said, “My brother. You are not considered to be clean because you associate partners with Allah. Only those who are clean can touch what we were reading. Rise and wash yourself.” Thereupon, Umar made ghusl. Fatima gave him the pages of the Quran, Some verses of the chapter of Taha were written on them. Umar read them and contemplated on them. Lights of guidance started to appear on his face. He said, “What an honorable and soft speech! There cannot be anything more beautiful than this.” Feeling that Umar calmed down, Hz. Habbab came out of the place he was hiding. Then, they went to the Prophet together. Umar uttered kalima ash-shahada and became a Muslim.
Hz. Fatima regarded herself very lucky since she caused someone like Hz. Umar to embrace Islam.
Fatima (r.anha) migrated to Madinah with her husband. She led a virtuous life up to the end of her life. She experienced the happiness of seeing that Hz. Umar became the caliph of all Muslims and ruled the Islamic land with justice. She died during the caliphate of her brother.
May Allah be pleased with her!
 Sirah, 1: 366-371; Tabaqat, 3: 267, 268.
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- Umar bin Khattab (r.a.)
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