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    Before The Grand Event

     Our man is `Omar ibnul-Khattab, of a tribe called Bani `Adiy.
    His father, Al-Khattab ibn Nufail, was not well-off, though he was well-known
    for his violence and brutal nature. There is no doubt that `Omar inherited the
    severity and violence of his father, and that had it not been for his adoption of
    Islam, he might have lived among the people of his tribe, as his father had
    done before, a man with a ruthless heart and a violence of character that could
    never have been suppressed

    Yet `Omar's life, in his Pre-Islamic days
    was more or less the same as the lives of the youth about whom we read in the
    Pre-Islamic poetry. He was fond of drinking, wrestling with his mates in the
    market places and courting the pretty young ladies. He used to attend the
    annual poetic contests at `Okaz market, listen to the recitals of their poets
    and repeat the verses of the Pre-Islamic poets. As all the other idolaters of
    his time, `Omar had made his own idol of soft dates.

    But one day, as he was worshipping his
    idol, he felt hungry, and found no harm in devouring his god at once, which
    thing gives a true picture of the silly and trivial mentality of the
    idol-worshippers in the Pre-Islamic days.

     `Omar was one of the very few who were instructed in reading
    and writing in his childhood. This is why he was frequently chosen by his tribe
    to represent them whenever there were any disputes between them and other
    tribes. Whatever those disputes the mere presence of `Omar was a very
    influential element in eliminating any difficulty and solving any problem.

    That was `Omar ibnul-Khattab, the man of
    extraordinary strenght, height, broad- shoulderedness thickness of hands and
    feet; the man who forced the people to listen when he spoke, who always
    hastened away when he walked, and who usually caused much pain when he struck.
    That was `Omar who never felt scared of anything or anybody throughout his
    life. It was not strange to see him facing the first Muslims with all the
    violence and ruthlessness he had. There was a strong enmity between him and
    Islam; the reason for this was that, among his people, he had been a man full
    of power prudence zeal and dignity power to defend his people and their beliefs;
    prudence to be always having watchful care of their interests; zeal to spend
    his time and effort to keep them in union; and dignity to provide full respect
    and prestige for himself and his people always and everywhere. With all these
    honourable qualities, 'Omar had had to face any call that might have caused
    disunion among his people, dispersing them, nullifying their aspirations
    condemning their beliefs and satirizing their gods. No wonder, then, that
    `Omar's violence inflicted the severest persecution and torture upon the first
    Muslims. We have seen how he had inherited so much of his father's brutal and
    violent nature. If we bear in mind that the most brutal and merciless enemy of
    Islam, its Prophet and its first adherents, was `Amr ibn-Hisham, after wards
    named "Abu-Jahl" by the Prophet and his companions, was `Omar's uncle
    (his mother's brother), we can easily discern that `Omar's violence was the
    outcome of what he had inherited from his father, and of the hideous
    ruthlessness his uncle used to inflict upon the poor and weak Muslims of his

    And it was not
    strange that `Omar's brutality and audacity had gone so far as to make him
    think of killing the Prophet and establishing reunion among his people once
    more. But such a daring idea had had to be checked a thousand times before it
    rose up to the region of his conscious mind this had happened to `Omar. It had
    never occurred to his mind that a grand event would take place very soon; and
    it would take place as a flash of light at one of the brightest moments the
    history of humanity has ever recorded.



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