Umar’s conversion strengthens Islam

So far the Muslims had always prayed in secret. To pray in the open was to risk being abused and beaten by the Makkans. Umar , however, felt that the time had come for Muslims to practice their faith in full view of their enemies. “O Prophet!” Umar said one day. “Don’t we have truth on our side whether we are alive or dead? Why should we hide our faith? I swear by Allah who has sent you to us with the Truth that we will no longer hide.”

Umar’s words rang true, so it was decided that from then on, there was no need to pray in secrecy. The Muslims formed rows behind the Prophet and walked to the Ka’bah, one row headed by Hamzah, the other by Umar. The Makkans could ony watch as the Muslims began to pray behind the Prophet . From that day onward, Umar was known as “Farooq,” one who distinguises truth from falsehood.

Ibn Mas’ud , one of the Prophet’s Companions, said, “The day Umar accepted Islam, we gained both strength and prestige.” He also said, “We could not perform our prayers at the Ka’bah until Umar embraced Islam.”

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